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Health regulations expire soon. What will Alabama’s governor do next?

July deadline approaches as number of coronavirus cases grow daily.
(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Alabama's emergency health guidelines will expire next week and Governor Ivey has not said whether she intends to extend them.

“Governor Ivey and (State Health Officer Dr. (Scott) Harris continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and are aware of where our state currently stands with the virus,” Ivey’s Press Secretary Gina Maiola, said in an email to WTVY on Wednesday.

That’s the same day Alabama saw the number of cases increase by 954, with 25 deaths. That brings the confirmed number of cases to 31,624. That’s less than 10 percent of those tested. However, the state’s death toll is at 879 with 18,866 presumed recoveries, per the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The numbers aren’t as good as Ivey and Harris had hoped for when they relaxed health guidelines a few weeks ago. It also appears likely that it will be weeks—or months—before the pandemic ends and, even then, another wave is possible late this year.

Despite those concerns, it seems doubtful that Ivey will toughen restrictions that currently allow 50 percent customer capacity at restaurants and retail businesses.

“As Governor Ivey has said on-the-record multiple times, you cannot have a life without livelihood,” Maiola said.

Unemployment numbers are not good---currently around 10 percent---but they have improved since Ivey lifted he original Stay at Home order, allowing many businesses to reopen.

Not wanting to tinker with that positive news, she could choose to keep current guidelines in place for a while longer. There’s also another option.

She could also do nothing that would remove restrictions, though some business owners could continue to voluntarily abide by them.

“We are seeing businesses make sacrifices, and Governor Ivey has faith in the people of Alabama to be smart as we wade through this health crisis,” Maiola said.

Here is the complete statement from Press Secretary Gina Maiola:

Governor Ivey and Dr. Harris continue closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and are aware of where our state currently stands with the virus. The governor and our Office routinely have discussions with Dr. Harris and the team at Public Health as we determine how to best move forward.

As we have learned throughout this pandemic, the situation rapidly evolves, and Governor Ivey and Dr. Harris are keeping a very close eye on how we are doing in Alabama. Governor Ivey continues to reiterate that the threat of this virus is not behind us.

Until our next update, the governor continues to stress the need for personal responsibility. If we do not take it upon ourselves to keep ourselves and others safe by taking smart health precautions, we cannot expect to make progress. Our health care workers are doing their part. We are seeing businesses make sacrifices, and Governor Ivey has faith in the people of Alabama to be smart as we wade through this health crisis.

At this time, the current Safer at Home order remains in effect until July 3. As Governor Ivey has said on-the-record multiple times, you cannot have a life without livelihood. She urges every Alabamian to do their part as we continually work to combat this virus and regain the footing and momentum we had just a few months ago

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