MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will hold a joint press conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris at 11 a.m. to provide updates on the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19.
The news conference will be held at the state Capitol. WSFA 12 News will carry it live on-air, online and on our mobile apps at that time.
Ivey last extended Alabama’s ‘safer at home’ order, including a mask mandate in January. It’s set to expire on Friday unless she and Harris decide it should be extended again. Whether that will happen remains unclear.
Ivey is under increasing pressure to eliminate the mandate, like governors in Texas and Mississippi have decided to do. But she’s also being urged by medical professionals and the Alabama Hospital Association to extend the order.
Federal health officials this week warned states not to let their guard down, warning that the pandemic is far from over, according to the Associated Press.
On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who along with some of his family members has previously tested positive for COVID-19, called on Ivey to lift the mandate.
While he has recovered from his illness, Ainsworth has never wavered in his opposition to the mandate and has been a vocal opponent since it was put into effect eight months ago.
“I urge Gov. Kay Ivey to immediately lift the statewide mask mandate and allow citizens and local officials the liberty to make the decisions that best fit their circumstances,” Ainsworth said in a statement.
Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported that Alabama surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. There have been 497,154 total cases of coronavirus in Alabama since the start of the pandemic almost one year ago.
According to ADPH, 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the state, while a little more than 970,000 doses, or about 69 percent, have been administered.