Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, released a statement supporting Gov. Kay Ivey’s announcement of the Safer at Home Order. Gov. Ivey is lifting her shelter in place order for all Alabamians Thursday at 5 p.m. She has replaced that with her new safer-at-home order, which lifts some restrictions.
“After consulting with the medical community and business leaders, it appears that we are starting to see a flattening in the curve of COVID-19 cases and that our hospitals will not be overwhelmed by those who contract the disease,” said Sen. Marsh. “I applaud Governor Ivey for taking the first steps to reopen Alabama for business. It was the right thing to do and I look forward to continuing to monitor the situation as we work to reopen all businesses in Alabama as soon as possible.”
“We can finally start to see light at the end of the tunnel, however as we work to reopen Alabama, the leaders of this state must lead,” Marsh said. “For this reason, I look forward to getting back to Montgomery as we work to approve budgets so we can provide some certainty to the education community and our state agencies.”
The Alabama Legislature will return on May 4 to resume the legislative session which has been on hold since March 12.
Gov. Ivey did allow retail stores and the beaches to reopen. Hospitals will be allowed to do elective surgeries again. The Governor did not allow: bars, barber shops, Church worship services, massage parlors, night clubs, gyms, athletic facilities, concert halls, movie theaters, salons, or restaurant dining rooms reopen.
Several people have objected to those businesses from being left out of the reopening.
“After meeting with many of our local barbers, beauticians and restaurant owners, I believe that they should be allowed to re-open under strict sanitation guidelines,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said on social media.
Kimberly Church of God Pastor Dr. Stan Cooke was angry that Churches in Alabama were forbidden from holding public worship services with more than ten people present.
“I have filed a formal complaint with the department of justice against the governor of Alabama for violating the rights of the church, violating the Constitution, filing the first amendment specifically, and the separation of church and state,” Cooke said. “It is my opinion that every church should be open and free to worship God as they see appropriate. It is time to find your courage and express the spirit of our founding fathers that no government shall infringe upon the right of free people to worship their Creator.”
Ivey said that she could not adopt all of the phase one reopening guidelines put out by the White House because, although the state’s COVID-19 cases have plateaued they have not started going down yet.
61,669 Americans have died from COVID-19 already and over a million have contracted the virus.