Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), under pressure from Democrats and President Joe Biden, held a press conference Thursday and announced she will extend the statewide coronavirus mask mandate for five weeks.
“As of Tuesday, Alabama’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 778 cases per day,” Ivey told the small crowd gathered to hear her remarks at the state Capitol. “That’s an 82 percent drop from the high reached on January 10 and the lowest new average for daily cases since June. … We are definitely in the indication that we are moving in the right direction.”
Even with this positive news, however, both Dr. Harris and I are both convinced that we need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a first step that some states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and other restrictions. We’re not there yet, but goodness knows, we’re getting closer.
Ivey had previously extended the state’s safer at home” order, which included a mask mandate, in January. That extension was set to expire on Friday, but under pressure from health officials and Democrats in the state, Ivey extended the order.
According to Ivey, the “new modified order” will ease up restrictions and “keep our mask order in place for another five weeks through April 9. But let me be abundantly clear: after April 9, I will not keep the mask order in effect.”
Ivey also stated she has “respect” for those who believe imposing a mask mandate on residents in the state is a “step too far in government overreach.”
Ivey’s decision to give in to Democrat demands comes after she was planning to scrap the mandate this week. Sources with knowledge of the matter told Breitbart News Wednesday she was going to get rid of it, and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth issued a statement calling on Ivey to eliminate it now. Nonetheless, Ivey’s decision to extend it only until April 9 — and her pledge to never extend it again under any circumstances beyond that point — is a sort of a win for conservative critics of the mask mandates, as that date still falls within Biden’s first 100 days. This means Alabama will join other states in flouting the new president’s recommendations.
Ivey said at the press conference summer camps will be allowed to resume normal operations this year. She also stated she is “going to lift restrictions on seating limits at restaurants.”
Ivey said she will be “raising the number of visitors of caregivers from 1 to 2 to accompany their loved one during a stay at a hospital or nursing home.”