7 Things: Another record day for COVID-19 in Alabama, Huntsville considers mask ordinance, unemployment rolls keep growing quickly and more …
7. Alabama football has put out a Black Lives Matter PSA
- In a video released by the University of Alabama that features Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and many football players voicing their support for equality, Saban says “we can’t be silent.” Some have complained that he didn’t say “Black Lives Matter.”
- In the video, Saban is also seen saying, “We must speak up for our brothers and sisters, for our sons and daughters.” Quarterback Mac Jones adds, “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.”
6. NASCAR takes another swing at the “noose”
- After a noose was found in the garage for Bubba Wallace’s car at the Talladega Superspeedway, an FBI and Department of Justice investigation took place and determined that the knot in question had been in the garage since at least October 2019, so it didn’t add up to being a hate crime against Wallace.
- Now, NASCAR has released an image of said noose. NASCAR President Steve Phelps said “the noose was real.” Based on the image, the door pull very clearly looks like a noose but the mere existence of the noose doesn’t make it a hateful act.
5. Ivey admits mistake on shutdowns
- While speaking to the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Governor Kay Ivey talked about how 2020 hasn’t gone how anyone expected with a year that started with a 2.9% unemployment rate before revisiting her “Stay at Home” order and the labeling of businesses as non-essential.
- Ivey said, “I never wanted to create the belief that my administration viewed certain businesses as more important than others. All jobs and all businesses are essential and important to our state.” She went on to say it was unclear if another “Stay at Home” order was possible with increasing infections of COVID-19 in the state.
4. Byrne wants to see bipartisan legislation passed
- As it becomes increasingly clear there will be no substantial police reform, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) spoke on the House floor in favor of passing bipartisan legislation on police reform, like the JUSTICE Act that Byrne co-sponsored but was voted down by Democrats on Wednesday.
- Byrne remarked that he felt “compelled” to speak out against racism “under the present regrettable circumstance.” He went on to say that we’re all “created in the image of God and are of equal and inestimable moral worth.” Byrne also detailed how long black people have been fighting for equality and what they’ve endured along the way, emphasizing that the House has to “work together, not in parallel partisan efforts.”
3. Unemployment is still climbing
- The Alabama Department of Labor has reported the most recent unemployment numbers, showing that from June 14-20 there were 18,671 new claims, 11,311 of which were directly related to the coronavirus. The week before saw 18,367 claims.
- Unemployment claims have decreased slowly since the initial shutdown caused by the pandemic. The claims are still more than 10 times higher than the week before the shutdown, which saw only 1,824 unemployment claims.
2. More states leaning towards mask mandates
- As new cases of COVID-19 surge across the nation, local and state mask ordinances, with questionable enforcement plans, are becoming more common with Nevada becoming the 19th state to put one in place. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) stated, “For Nevada to stay open, we must make face coverings a part of our daily lives.”
- In states without mask ordinances, local governments are starting to get in on the act. While only Birmingham and Montgomery have them in Alabama, Huntsville and other municipalities have been talking about them in recent days.
1. Alabama sees record high coronavirus numbers again
- Yesterday, Alabama saw the highest number of coronavirus cases in one day that it’s seen throughout the entire pandemic with 1,129 new cases.
- More than 90% of Alabama counties are reporting new cases. The positive rate of infection is roughly around 8.6%, which is where it’s stayed since June 14. Cities like Decatur and Mobile have decided to cancel their 4th of July celebrations due to the rise in cases.