Alabama extends mask mandate 1 month, bucking other GOP-led states

Source: The Hill | March 4, 2021 | Peter Sullivan

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said Thursday she will extend her state’s mask mandate for another month, a contrast with decisions from governors in Texas and Mississippi to lift orders.

Ivey noted that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have fallen but said the time is not yet right to lift the mask order.

“Even with this positive news, Dr. Harris & I believe more Alabamians need to get their 1st shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether & lift all restrictions,” she wrote on Twitter, referring to state health officer Scott Harris. “Folks, we’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.”

The move sets up a split between Southern Republican governors on mask mandates and could be an indication more GOP governors will not follow Texas and Mississippi’s leads right away.

Alabama’s mask order will remain until April 9, after which Ivey said it would not be extended. She notably defended the effectiveness of the order.

“The bottom line is we have kept the mask mandate in place for more than a generous period of time because it has helped,” she wrote. “And as a result of the people of our state doing their part, we have seen dramatic results & real progress being made.”

While the mask mandate will stay for now, Ivey said that given the improving situation she would ease some orders, including restrictions on the size of a group at each restaurant table.


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