MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey has issued a “stay-at-home” order for the state of Alabama as coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and deaths continue to rise.
The order is effective beginning Saturday, April 4, at 5:00 p.m. and will expire Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Exceptions apply for essential activities and businesses.
The order can be read here.
An updated supplemental State of Emergency can be read here.
Ivey made the announcement at a press conference Friday at 4:00 p.m. CT alongside State Health Officer Scott Harris, Attorney General Steve Marshall and the Reverend Cromwell A. Handy of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Reporters were able to attend and ask questions live afterwards while following social distancing guidelines.
In a statement, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth said he supports the stay-at-home order.
“I agree with Gov. Ivey’s decision to issue a stay-at-home order throughout Alabama, and though many may find it inconvenient, her action is the best method of combatting and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in our cities, towns, and communities,” he said.
“Alabamians have always shown courage in a crisis, so at this critical time, the best way we can stand together is by staying apart,” Ainsworth concluded.
Ainsworth’s full statement can be read here.
Ivey said in her remarks that it became obvious to her Thursday afternoon that more must be done to flatten the curve.
The governor advised she was “convinced our previous efforts to reduce social interaction [had not been enough].”
“That’s why we are taking this more drastic step,” she added.
Ivey cited the jump in confirmed cases the state experienced Thursday, along with cell phone location data made available by a national data company, as sources of information she found relevant in making her decision.
“April stands to be very tough, and potentially very deadly,” warned Ivey.
The governor said that Alabama should expect a surge in hospitalizations that she estimates will peak in 2-3 weeks.
Harris noted the the models projecting caseload change every day.
Marshall said that intentionally violating the new order is a class-c misdemeanor.
Marshall urged law enforcement officers around the state to practice restraint in enforcing the order, only using criminal action if someone was endangering others.
Handy offered spiritual advice, quoting scripture and saying, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble, we will not fear when earthquakes come and mountains tumble into the sea.”
The order allows churches to meet, as long as the crowd in the building does not exceed 10 people. “Drive-in” worship services are also allowed.
The order supercedes those made locally by counties like Jefferson and Mobile, but they both retain the ability to implement more stringent restrictions if they wish, according to Harris.
Jefferson County’s health officer indicated in a public appearance that he would likely be implementing stricter requirements for his jurisdiction, which has the highest concentration of COVID-19 patients in Alabama.
You can watch the State’s press conference below:
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.