Gov. Kay Ivey Announces ‘Safer Apart’ Order As Mask Mandate Ends

 1580841565 
1617807789

Gov. Kay Ivey provides further updates on the state's response to COVID-19.

Janae Pierre, WBHM

Alabama is set to transition to a “Safer Apart” order until 5 p.m. on May 5, replacing the statewide mask order that’s been in place since last July.

“We are still under a public health order, but it is greatly slimmed down due to everyone doing their part to practice social distancing, wearing a mask and getting a vaccine,” Ivey said at a press conference Wednesday.

Ivey’s “Safer Apart” order is the third phase of Alabama’s COVID-19 pandemic health order.

The announcement comes days before the statewide mask mandate comes to an end this Friday. Last month, Ivey announced she would not renew the mask order. However, both Gov. Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris urged residents to continue wearing masks and social distancing once the mandate expires.

“After Friday, when there’s no more government mandate, I will continue to wear my mask,” Ivey said. “And I strongly urge my fellow citizens to use common sense and also practical personal responsibility.”

As I’ve previously stated, Alabama’s mask order will expire at 5 p.m. on April 9. Today, I’m announcing our state will…

Posted by Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This week, the Birmingham City Council voted 8-1 to extend a citywide mask ordinance through most of May. Montgomery also has a mask mandate in place.

Ivey said she has no jurisdiction over cities and commended businesses that require face masks for entry.

I applaud the initiative of local people wanting to continue to encourage the mask,” she said. “I’m certainly going to continue to encourage people to wear the mask whenever I’m out in a crowd.”

As of Monday, the seven-day average for newly reported COVID-19 cases was 328 per day, a 92% drop from the high reached in January 2021 and the lowest average since Spring 2020.

Harris said residents should not let their guard down.

We’re so close to getting to the end of this. We still have a little ways to go and we appreciate all the hard work that’s gone on so far,” he said. “And we know that working together, we’re going to get there soon.”

 

Some kids in Birmingham dodge trains and cars walking to school. More buses could help

Alabama only has to provide bus access for families that live within two miles of their school, which leaves some families having to walk in dangerous conditions. Birmingham City Schools is trying to add new routes to address these concerns.

Hoover City Schools canceled Derrick Barnes’ visit. He says it’s political

Hoover school officials say they canceled the Black children's book author's visit due to a controversial social media post. Officials never saw the post after an anonymous parent reported it.

In post-Roe Mississippi, pregnancy resource centers are becoming the last hope for maternal care

PRCs, like Life Choices in Columbus, can help expecting mothers in several ways, but experts say they're not a substitute for actual health care.

This swampy paradise is Alabama’s winter haven for sandhill cranes

As many as 25,000 sandhill cranes migrate to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge every winter, along with a handful of highly endangered whooping cranes. 

400 Alabama inmates to be released early under 2021 law

The sentencing law sends prisoners to supervised release several months before their sentences are set to end.

Residents worry about unknown health impacts of toxic landfill fumes

Officials have advised people to stay inside, seek medical care if they feel sick and relocate if necessary, a response that frustrates many residents.

More Front Page Coverage