Gov. Ivey Requires Face Masks In Schools, Extends Statewide Ordinance

 1517157351 
1596020519
Hal Yeager, Office of Gov. Ivey

For teachers and students preparing to enter the classroom next month, masks will now be required for anyone in second grade and above. Governor Kay Ivey issued the new mandate Wednesday as an amendment to the statewide mask ordinance and Safer at Home order. The orders, originally set to expire Friday, have been extended through August 31. 

Wednesday’s announcement comes as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Alabama, with state hospital officials recently reporting ICU capacity at its lowest point since the pandemic began.

State health officer Dr. Scott Harris said overall case numbers are not encouraging right now, but face masks are one of the most effective tools to reduce viral transmission.

“If we want our schools to minimize the number of cases they have, and minimize outbreaks and the risk of closing again, we really need people to cooperate with continuing to wear face coverings,” Harris said. “It’s really more important now than ever.”

Many schools have recently announced plans to offer both in-person and remote learning options, with some districts opting for virtual-only instruction during the first nine weeks.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Ivey encouraged schools to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible depending on COVID transmission in their communities.

“While I respect those districts that have elected to go to virtual classrooms,” Ivey said, “I feel with all my heart that a slide [in educational progress] will come by keeping our kids at home.”

The amended order requires face masks be worn “where possible” in schools and colleges, as well as in public when interacting within six feet of people from another household. There are several exceptions, including for anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a facial covering.

Safer-at-Home-Order-Final-7… by Mary Hodgin on Scribd

More Coronavirus Coverage

Where Is The COVID-19 Vaccine And How Do You Get One?

Arranging to get a COVID-19 vaccine can be frustrating and a potentially complicated process. We're here to answer some of your questions.

Frustration Grows With Alabama’s Slow Vaccine Rollout

Alabama has administered less than half of its COVID-19 vaccine supply. So why do state health officials say supply is the main obstacle?

Gov. Ivey Extends Mask Order Until March 5

Alabama residents must continue to wear masks in public for another six weeks.

Park Board Approves Making Legion Field A 24/7 Vaccination Site

Legion Field has been operating as a testing site for COVID-19. Now officials want to expand the operation to include coronavirus vaccinations.

UAB Hospital Ready To Vaccinate More People, Waiting On More Vaccine

Alabama's biggest hospital says it could establish a mass vaccination site this week if it had more doses.

JeffCo Commission Picks Up Where Feds Left Off, Will Pay For COVID Time Off

The Jefferson County Commission unanimously approved funding this week that will help pay county employees for time off related to COVID-19.

More Coronavirus Coverage