MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Gov. Kay Ivey held an hour-long question and answer segment on Twitter Thursday afternoon, and one of the questions posed to her asked why she hasn’t issued a shelter-in-place order like surrounding states.
Using the hashtag #AskGovIvey, one user asked “@GovernorKayIvey All surrounding states have issues a stay at home order to protect their citizens. Why don’t you want to protect Alabamians?”
The governor’s tweeted response indicated “Each state has to weigh their own set of factors. I’m in communication with local, state & federal officials on a daily basis. We are taking a measured approach to keep Alabamians healthy, safe & working, wherever possible.”
Ivey’s office says she has not ruled anything out in her efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. But she’s still holding off putting into effect any shelter-in-place order.
Alabama topped 1,000 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness Wednesday, a milestone that took 18 days from the first identified patient. Some 100,000 to 240,000 deaths are projected in the U.S. before the crisis is over.
Ivey’s office said she was working in consultation with her Coronavirus Task Force and the Alabama Department of Public Health and pointed to “aggressive measures” that have been taken to combat the pandemic’s spread.
She has urged people to stay home, though she hasn’t made it mandatory.
The governor has tightened a state health order on March 27, forcing the closure of “non-essential” businesses, venues, and activities.
But the numbers of confirmed cases, and deaths, have continued to climb. Multiple local municipalities like Montgomery have taken their own initiatives to slow the spread with measures such as daily curfews.
Ivey’s office said she “has not ruled anything out, but she hopes that we do not need to take this approach.”
It’s an approach more than 30 states are implementing, including those bordering Alabama.
“Many factors surround a statewide shelter-in-place,” Ivey’s office said, “and Alabama is not at a place where we are ready to make this call.”
Of primary concern to Ivey’s office is that by issuing such an order, jobs would be greatly impacted and that residents’ “well-being also relies on being able to have a job and provide for themselves and their families.”
Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, advocates for a statewide shelter in place.
“I felt that it should not take someone lives in their life for us to make a decision that we have seen evidence and recommendations from public health professionals around the country,” Daniels said.
Thousands of Alabamians are already being thrown into jobless territory, according to the Alabama Department of Labor, from a total of 5,000 in all of February to nearly 75,000 in just the last week of March.