MONTGOMERY, AL — Gov. Kay Ivey is extending the state’s Safer At Home Order through Sunday. Nov. 8., including the mandatory mask order.
Ivey said part of what played into her decision to extend the order was the November 3 elections.
“It is important to have a safe environment for our poll workers and poll watchers,” Ivey said. “It is our sacred duty to vote, and we want Alabamians to be able to do this as safely as possible.”
Ivey said she feels the mask order is working to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the state, and cited that Alabama did not see a spike in new cases after Labor Day, the way the state did after the 4th of July. “The fact is, our mask order is working, and the numbers speak for themselves,” Ivey said.
“For those who want to see the masks go away, I am asking you to please be patient. I am as tired of these masks as anybody, believe me,” Ivey said. “As much as we would like to get back to normal, I would hate to go back too quickly and negate the progress we have made.”
Alabama has seen a decrease in new daily cases, hospitalizations and the rate of positive tests since the order was put in place July 15. Since Gov. Kay Ivey’s mandatory mask order began, the seven-day average of cases has dropped from an all-time high of 1,851 on July 19 to 652 on Tuesday.
The mask order requires people to wear coverings over their nostrils and mouth when within six feet of people from another household in indoor spaces open to the public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor space where 10 or more people are gathered.
Ivey’s new order did ease restrictions on hospitals and nursing homes by allowing patients and residents to be visited by one caregiver or visitor at a time.
This article originally appeared on the Birmingham Patch