Alabama governor offers encouragement, revised statewide health order amid COVID-19 crisis

Alabama governor offers encouragement, revised statewide health order amid COVID-19 crisis
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a video to encourage and advice the public on a revised statewide order. (contributed)

Gov. Kay Ivey offered words of encouragement for the state Friday as she and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued an update to the statewide health order released Thursday to aid in Alabama’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“There is no better time than now for our Alabama family to come together, be strong and stand united,” Ivey said in a video released with the revised order. “We will resume our daily lives in the near future once we defeat this illness.”

Under the updated order effective today, all gatherings not related to work of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. Employers must take “all reasonable steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.”

Governor Kay Ivey encourages Alabamians amid COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The updated order also expands the availability of child daycare in the state as long as certain guidelines are followed. Also, the revised order clarifies language regarding senior citizen centers and schools.

The clarification in the order for businesses was an important one, Ivey said.

“In order to keep Alabama going, we must keep Alabama businesses going to the best of our abilities,” she said. “I fully support the restrictions of social or recreational gatherings of 25 people or less and strongly encourage individuals to maintain a 6-foot distance. However, this order was intended to apply to non-work-related gatherings. However, employers should take all necessary steps to meet these standards for employees and customers.”

Ivey said businesses need to continue not just for the economy, but in some instances they help prevent the crisis from getting worse.

“Let me be abundantly clear – I have no intention of slowing down our workforce through unnecessary, burdensome regulations,” she said. “We will only be able to mitigate the risk of the virus through the efforts of our hardworking manufacturers that will produce life-sustaining supplies, our truckers who move these goods down the road, and our valued retailers that will make them available to our citizens.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the orders are intended to control the spread of the virus by limiting unnecessary contact between the infected and the uninfected.

“Alabamians must cooperate, understand their actions affect other people, and take seriously the need to protect health and safety, because COVID-19 is a deadly virus,” he said.

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