MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed held a press conference Friday afternoon to address the city’s stance on reopening the economy. Reed made it clear that the city of Montgomery is not ready to reopen at this time.
“We still have not gotten to a place where we feel comfortable reopening the city and we feel comfortable allowing things to get back to normal,” said Reed.
More testing, more results, and a consistent drop in the number of cases in Alabama is needed before businesses can reopen, according to the Reed. The mayor said people should not get a false sense of security from the low number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“We see some low numbers, it’s just important for us to know that we have not had the type of widespread testing in Montgomery or Alabama that is really needed to draw any conclusion of where we might be,” said Reed. “So, we have to make sure that while we are inching forward to get back to normal, that that may take some time despite what may be heard in other news outlets or across the board nationally."
The city does not want to prematurely reopen and unintentionally bring on a second wave of the virus.
“We want people to go about this very slowly,” said Reed. “We know there is national news coming in about what may happen in other places, but we have to take our space here one day at a time.”
Reed said he knows the community is eager to get back to work and get back to a since of normalcy, but that we are far from being in the clear.
“We have not reached the peak of this in Montgomery and we have not reached the peak of this in the state of Alabama,” said Reed. “So, while there is a lot of talk about reopening the state of Alabama and getting back to work, we just want to make sure that we are very vigilant about how we approach that and what steps we take.”
Reed also said it’s important to continue following the guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health. Social distancing, hand washing, sheltering in place, and most importantly wearing a face mask in public areas is essential to controlling the spread.
The city’s State of Emergency and the Shelter in Place order issued by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey are still in effect. Both orders are set to end on April 30.