Miranda Prescott, News Editor
Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Thursday during a press conference that the statewide mask order, included in the “Safer at Home” order, would be extended until Oct. 2.
“We are seeing significant drops in our hospitalizations and daily positive COVID-19 numbers,” said Ivey during the conference. “And I have no doubt that this is the result of our mask ordinance. Wearing a mask is simply the right thing to do.”
The mandate began in mid-July, which was then extended until Aug. 31. This mandate required masks must be worn in public spaces where social distancing was unable to be maintained. There are some exceptions to this mandate, such as eating and drinking in restaurants and those with disabilities.
The extension listed in the order also stated that law enforcement would be allowed to enforce the mask mandate in their jurisdiction.
“The law-enforcing authorities of the state shall enforce that order as any other order, rule, or regulation promulgated by the Governor under the Act, and the penalty for violating it shall be a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment in the county jail,” states the extended proclamation.
Ivey also announced in this proclamation that she has extended the state of emergency initially declared on Mar. 13 until Nov. 8. A decision on whether the order will be extended or not will be made prior to the date of extension announced today.
“At this time, it is impossible to predict how long the COVID-19 pandemic will require the existence of a state of emergency,” said Ivey in the proclamation. “Nevertheless, I understand and appreciate the substantial reliance that many people, businesses, and government entities have come to place on the measures adopted in the various emergency proclamations I have issued as part of the State’s COVID-19 response.”
Ivey also stated that if the order conflicts with any previous acting state laws, the order will take precedence over existing law until the end of the state of emergency. All subsequent orders shall remain in effect for the duration of the current public health emergency.