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Reaction: Alabama state of emergency ends

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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YORK, Ala. (WTOK) - Alabama is on the road to recovery. The state of emergency Governor Kay Ivey put in place expired Tuesday after a year and a half of COVID-19 limitations.

What changes? The remaining state policies will go back to what they were pre-pandemic. For instance, it may be harder to get certain prescriptions without seeing a doctor in person, with rules on controlled substances being strictly enforced.

York Mayor, Willie Lake commends the Governor Ivey’s response to the pandemic.

“Well, I support anything Ivey does. We are following her mandates. I believe Governor Ivey also-- although they lifted the mandates, she still encourages people to wear a mask. But once again, that is an individual choice,” Lake said. “We encourage people to take the vaccination. But they have to decide what’s best for them.”

The expiration follows improvements in infection rates and hospitalizations, as well as multiple vaccines being available for people in the state.

One in three adults has been vaccinated.

“With York this time last year, our numbers have gone down. I believe around thirty percent of people are vaccinated. We would like to have more. The biggest problem we have are with our young people. People under 40 getting vaccinated,” Lake said. “That seems to be the sticking point.”

Governor Ivey says Alabamians have consistently stepped up to the plate during the pandemic.

Ottice Russelle is a vaccinated Alabamian. He says he hopes people will continue to play their part in the pandemic.

“Well, we’ve gotten better than last year,” Russelle said. “But the whole thing about it is if people do not go out and take the vaccine, come wintertime we’re not going to be much better than we were last year.”

Ann Bell believes people still need to be careful even without the state of emergency.

“I think we are better, but we’ve still got to be careful. But we are better because other than that I would not be out,” Bell said.

The public health order expired May 31st.

Governor Kay Ivey still encourages Alabamians to get vaccinated. People 12 and up are eligible to get the vaccines.

Mayor Lake says the city of York will have a campaign in the next few weeks encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“We anticipate maybe having a health fair in particular before we get back to school,” Lake said. “We’re trying to encourage our school age kids to get vaccinated.”

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