U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, Tuesday encouraged the public to heed Gov. Kay Ivey’s warnings earlier in the day that despite her loosening some restrictions on business closures amid the COVI-19 pandemic, the state isn’t yet in the clear.
“As I said last week, I am grateful for Governor Ivey’s measured response in light of the intense pressure she’s faced to re-open our state’s economy, particularly as our neighboring states rush to open quickly before meeting critical health criteria released by the White House. But I cannot stress enough that Alabamians should focus on the Governor’s and Dr. Harris’ warnings today that we are not in the clear yet, and to remain at home and continue to socially distance as much as possible,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday.
Ivey earlier on Tuesday announced that all retail businesses can reopen at 50 percent capacity at 5 p.m. on Thursday, but close-contact businesses will remain closed for now as the state continues to work to keep Alabamians safe from COVID-19.
“When it comes to testing, real concerns were raised when Dr. Harris rightly pointed out that, given supply chain issues, Alabama is doing the best we can with what we have available,” Jones said in the statement. “And today it appears that testing is arriving on a ‘just in time’ basis. But before we can fully re-open, we must have the capacity in place to test everyone on a routine basis regardless of symptoms.
“Going forward, we must continue to follow the data and the guidance of our public health experts as we take these measured steps toward re-opening our economy, and we should all be prepared to take a step back if the data calls for it. If we follow the data and put our full focus toward rapidly increasing testing, we can re-open our economy – and keep it open – in a responsible way that keeps Alabamians safe, Jones said.