Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Announces Statewide Mask Mandate to Take Effect Thursday

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey hosted a press conference at the 187th Fighter Wing to announce that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson had selected Dannelly Field Air National Guard Base, Ala., as a preferred location for the F-35A aircraft Dec. 21, 2017, on base. Dannelly Field and Truax Field …
187th Fighter Wing / Flickr

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) this week announced a statewide mask mandate, which will take effect Thursday afternoon.

Ivey announced the mandate on Wednesday as part of the amended Safer at Home Order, which now includes the statewide mask requirement. The order will remain in effect for the remainder of the month.

“Effective July 16, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., each person shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places,” the order states. Face coverings will be required in indoor spaces open to the general public, as well as “a vehicle operated by a transportation service or an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered.”

Those ages six and under are exempt from the order, as are those with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Individuals are also permitted to remove their mask “while consuming food or drink.”

The order also does not apply to those who are exercising in a gym or similar facility.  Those in a “swimming pool, lake, water attraction, or similar body of water” are not required to wear a mask, but the order states that it, coupled with social distancing, is “strongly” encouraged.

Ivey admitted that the mandate will be a “difficult order to enforce” and said she “always prefer[s] personal responsibility over a government mandate.”

“Yet I also know, with all my heart, that the numbers and data the past few weeks are definitely trending in the wrong direction,” she said.

Several states across the country have issued their own statewide mask mandates. Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama are among the latest to do so.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) made waves on Wednesday after effectively blocking local governments from enforcing mask mandates.

Alabama has reported 60,158 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,200 related deaths.

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