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Governor Ivey likely to extend mask order

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 8:32 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) -Unless Governor Kay Ivey extends her current order, Alabamians can pull their face masks off next week. However, chances are she will make them mandatory a while longer.

“The governor and (State Health Officer) Dr. (Scott) Harris are keeping a close eye on Alabama’s (coronavirus) progress. Governor Ivey is encouraged by what we are seeing,” Press Secretary Gina Maiola said in a statement to WTVY.

Logically, there would be little, if any, reason for Ivey not to extend her health decree. After making face coverings mandatory in mid-July, state coronavirus cases are finally inching downward.

“Our daily percent positive continues to improve, and our hospitalization levels have lowered. (Governor Ivey) wants to see this virus in our rear view mirrors sooner, rather than later,” Maiola said.

It's difficult to gauge the impact of face coverings. However, there is a prediction 3,000 could be added to the state's death toll by December 1 if masks are not worn. That would bring the pandemic total to 5,000 deaths in Alabama since April.

Factor in face coverings and that prediction drops over 50 percent, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Its guidance has been used by the White House, Alabama Department of Public Health, and health care providers.

Ivey has additional motivation to extend her Safer at Home Order that expires August 31 Labor Day, football, and students returning to class next month.

“Governor Ivey reminds Alabamians that now is not the time to let down our guard,” Maiola said in her statement.

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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