MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama will transition from an amended Safer at Home order to a new Safer Apart Order on April 9, the day the state’s mask mandate expires, according to Gov. Kay Ivey.
Ivey, making the announcement Wednesday with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, cited a steep decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as increasing vaccination rates for the decision to move the state to a new phase.
“As of Monday, the 7-day average for newly-reported COVID-19 cases was 328 per day,” Ivey said. “That’s a 92 percent drop from the high reached on Jan. 10 and the lowest such average since the spring of 2020.”
The state has also recorded an 89 percent drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations from the high reached on Jan. 11 and the lowest average since last spring. Hospitalizations currently stand at 331.
“Ya’ll, this is definitely good news, and we are definitely moving in the right direction,” the governor said as she praised residents for their efforts to stem the pandemic.
The Safer Apart order is the third phase of COVID-19 pandemic health orders, symbolized on a state stoplight graphic as the green light. It is set to expire on May 5.
“Folks, we’re still under a public health order,” Ivey said, “but it is greatly slimmed down due to everyone doing their part to practice social distancing, wearing a mask, and voluntarily getting a vaccine.”
Ivey said while the state will no longer require mask use at April 9, people are still strongly urged to continue their use while in public or in close contact with others.
In the 13 months since Alabama first confirmed a case of the respiratory diseases, more than 10,600 people have died as a result.