Ivey in COVID-19 update: No statewide shelter-in-place order is planned — ‘We are not California, we are not New York’
On a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey assured the public that a statewide shelter-in-place order is not currently planned.
“We are not California, we are not New York, we are not even Lousiana,” said Ivey, referencing three states harder hit by COVID-19 than Alabama.
“We’ll make that decision if and when it is best for our state,” continued the governor. “My priority is keeping the Alabama economy going as much as possible.”
Shelter-in-place orders have been put in place by officials in several states with large numbers of coronavirus patients. They are strict orders that everyone without an essential role in the government or certain businesses must stay inside their homes.
Tuesday, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin proposed a shelter-in-place order for the city of Birmingham.
Jefferson County has the largest number of coronavirus patients in the state, with 91 of the 242 total as of 4:45 p.m on Tuesday.
Dr. Scott Harris, head of the Alabama Department of Public Health, was also a part of the briefing. He told reporters that around 8% or 9% of Alabamians who have tested positive for COVID-19 have required hospitalization.
Later in the briefing, Ivey said that a decision about reopening schools would be made closer to April 6. The governor is having a meeting with State Superintendent Eric Mackey later this week where the issue will be discussed.
In more scheduling comments, Ivey said she is in constant discussions with state lawmakers about the remainder of the legislative session.
“It is hard to do budgets until we know what the revenue will be,” remarked Ivey.
Ivey recently pushed back the due date for income tax filings until July 15, and the full economic effects of the coronavirus precautions are presumed by observers to be significant but can’t be predicted with any precision.
When asked about a state-funded bailout like the one currently before Congress, Ivey responded, “[U]nlike the federal government, we can’t print money.”
Ivey urged small business owners affected by the coronavirus precautions to seek the disaster loans being provided by the Small Business Administration.
Alabama’s governor also revealed she had already voted in the Alabama Republican primary runoff election by absentee ballot.
Ivey believes that the guideline from the Secretary of State’s office that allows anyone fearing COVID-19 to vote absentee is a sufficient safety measure for the upcoming election.
She was asked by a reporter if she favored switching Alabama to a no-excuse-needed vote by mail system and responded that she thinks that could open Alabama’s elections to possibilities of fraud.
In her closing remarks, Ivey urged her constituents to donate blood and fill out their census forms.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.