MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s been a year of twists and turns as the state faced unanticipated challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t think any of us expected it to get as serious as it has gotten,” Gov. Kay Ivey said during a one-on-one interview Thursday.
And after shutdowns, masks and social distancing, the governor believes the end may be near.
“Certainly, we see light at the end of the tunnel,” Ivey said. “We’ve got a supply of vaccine coming in, and that supply is being increased.”
Ivey announced the statewide mask mandate will end after April 9. WSFA asked what move the Governor would make if coronavirus cases climbed.
“Well, if health officials said it, I’d think twice about it, but at the same time, I’ve said April 9 is enough,” Ivey explained. “It’s after the Easter holiday, and by then, we will have given some 750,000 more vaccinations, so I feel comfortable that we can lift it up on April 9.”
While the executive branch’s emergencies have been questioned by lawmakers and others during the pandemic, the governor believes many of her decisions were necessary.
“Because it is an emergency. Time is just not on your side. You’ve got to make a decision and now it’s easy to pander to what’s popular, but that doesn’t solve problems, and nor does it save lives,” she said.
But Ivey’s biggest regret was calling some businesses “essential” while others were “nonessential” last year.
“Certainly, every business is important,” Ivey said. “We need every business to keep our people employed so we’re going to keep the businesses open.”
The governor said she is putting together a study group to evaluate what the state did right and what they could do better if there were to be another pandemic.