Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) revised the state public health order to allow the reopening of restaurants, gyms, and close-contact service providers with proper social distancing enforced. The Governor also removes the 10-person limit on non-work gatherings, although six-foot distancing remains in place. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth commended the Governor for allowing those business owners to reopen on Monday, May 11.
“I commend Gov. Kay Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris for leveling the playing field for small business owners and employees by allowing restaurants, gyms, barber shops, and other job providers to resume operations,” Ainsworth said.
Early on in the coronavirus crisis Ainsworth urged the Governor to shut down the businesses and issue a shelter in place order for Alabama businesses. In April, Ainsworth became a vocal supporter or lifting those same orders.
“Countless employers and workers who simply want to return to their jobs have reached out to me through email, texts, and social media over the past several weeks, and I have passed along their concerns and shared their frustrations,” Ainsworth said.
Governor Ivey has said that her reopening of the economy will be “data driven and not date driven.”
As of Sunday morning, 125.955 Alabamians coronavirus tests have been given; almost all of them either showing systems of COVID-19 or having been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the virus. That is 2.57 percent of the state population. 9,688 have tested positive, including 283 on Saturday.
“Even with increased testing, the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in Alabama has declined or remained stable since early April,” Ainsworth said. “Evidence clearly indicates that the worst is behind us.”
525 Alabamians are presently hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It is now time to rebuild Alabama’s economy, reenergize our workforce, and redouble our efforts to Reopen Alabama Responsibly,” Ainsworth said. “I look forward to working alongside Gov. Ivey to accomplish each of those important goals.”
Since the novel strain of coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China late in 2019 over 4 million people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Globally 281,056 people have died from COVID-19 (the abbreviated name for the medical condition caused by the novel strain of the coronavirus). No nation has been hit harder than the United States where 80,101 people have died. New York state alone has lost 26,771 people. The forced economic shutdown of businesses, schools, Churches, houses of worship, sports leagues, etc. was to slow the spread of the virus as it swept across the country.
Gov. Ivey is implementing a phase reopening of the economy, including Churches, but the six foot social distancing rules remain in place.
“Because I know how the people of Alabama are responding and paying attention while heeding the good public safety and health warnings, Dr. Harris and I are comfortable that we’ll be able to continue a measured approach,” Ivey said during a press conference on Friday. “Let me be crystal clear to the people of Alabama. The threat of this disease continues to be active, and it is deadly.”
Vulnerable people: the elderly, people with chronic health conditions, the obese, smokers, etc. are warned to continue to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. Everyone is advised to wash their hands frequently. Precautions such as masks and gloves are also recommended.