For the past several weeks, the people of Alabama participated in following a statewide public health order implemented by the governor and public health officials as an effort to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This unprecedented order required individuals and families to make drastic lifestyle changes in order to adapt to these guidelines. The stay-at-home guidelines put in place by state officials highly prioritized the health and safety of all Alabamians and aimed to slow the spread of coronavirus among Alabama’s communities. As the original stay-at-home order expired on April 30, Governor Kay Ivey announced a new set of guidelines that continue the implementation of critical mitigation practices while also taking a measured approach to reopen Alabama’s economy.
It is crucial that all Alabamians understand the changes applied in this new public health order so that we can continue to do our part to flatten the curve of the virus. The new “Safer at Home” guidelines went into effect on April 30 at 5:00 p.m. and expire on May 15 at 5:00 p.m. An important change to note is that under the previous order, individuals were ordered to stay home. Under the new guidelines, individuals are encouraged to stay home. Some businesses are now open subject to sanitation and social distancing guidelines, but those high-risk businesses remain closed. Visit the governor’s website for a full breakdown of changes made in the “Safer at Home” guidelines and items that remain the same.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought many challenges and uncertainties along with it. Unfortunately, no one is able to predict the exact timing of when our country will be free of this virus. The degree at which we each decide to abide by the guidelines will determine the process in which we return to our daily routines. Each individual has an important role in the fight to end the spread of coronavirus, and we are not alone in this battle. The more we listen and adhere to the advice given by health officials, the sooner we will see the return to normal life.
Now more than ever, it is in the best interest of the people of Alabama and vital to the health and well-being of all Americans that we do not deter our efforts to combat COVID-19. Please be diligent in following the governor’s new set of guidelines, and know that your full participation in this process greatly impacts the state and the nation’s road to recovery. We all want to see the economy booming and the American people healthy again. I am hopeful that the leadership of government and public health officials, as well as our individual contributions, will lead to better and brighter days ahead.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.