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Gov. Kay Ivey coronavirus press conference

Kay Ivey, politician serving as the 54th governor of Alabama since 2017.
Kay Ivey, politician serving as the 54th governor of Alabama since 2017.
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 10:48 AM CDT
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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says she will allow for the reopening of the state’s economy through a phased-in approach starting at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The easing of restrictions comes under a new “Safer at Home” order that runs through May 15, replacing the governor’s stay-at-home order that will be allowed to expire on April 30. A copy of the amended order is available by clicking the attached link to the right.

Ivey says the state is encouraging people to stay home and follow good sanitation practices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that some businesses may reopen with conditions attached.

Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris acknowledge Alabama has not reached White House and CDC benchmarks for a full reopening.

Under the new order, businesses may open subject to sanitation and social-distancing guidelines, though certain higher-risk businesses and activities will remain closed.

All retail stores can reopen subject to a 50 percent occupancy rate limit in addition to social-distancing and sanitation rules.

Beaches will reopen but with a ban on any gatherings of 10 people or more. Beach-goers must maintain 6 feet of separation.

All medical procedures will be allowed to take place unless prohibited in the future by the State Health Officer to preserve resources necessary to diagnose and treat COVID-19. Providers must follow COVID-19 related rules and guidance from safe regulatory boards or public health authorities.

While some things are changing, there are other things that are going to stay the same.

Non-work gatherings are still limited to fewer than 10 people with 6 feet of distance between them. “Drive-in” gatherings are still permitted if participants stay in their cars with people from their own households.

For senior citizen centers, regular programming is still suspended except for meals still available through curbside pick-up or delivery.

Educational institutions will still be closed to in-person instruction, except for daytime special activities programs.

Child day care facilities are still banned from allowing 12 or more children in a single room.

Hospitals and nursing homes still must implement policies to restrict visitation.

Restaurants, bars and breweries are still limited to take-out, curbside or delivery, though the governor said she is working with different state boards and associations to determine when restaurants and close-contact services can reopen.

Entertainment venues, athletic facilities and activities, close-contact service providers will remain closed.

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