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‘Safer at Home’ healh order extended another six weeks

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended Alabama’s “safer at home” health order six weeks to 5 p.m. March 5.

The current order, including a mask mandate, was set to expire on January 22. However, Ivey said the order is not a Democratic issue or a Republic issue; it’s an American issue and it will take everyone working together to defeat COVID-19.

Ivey said, after the New Year, many had hoped that things, including face masks and social distancing would no longer have to be incorporate into our daily lives. However, she said, after Christmas and New Year’s the number of cases were higher than ever.  

At one point last week, Ivey said only 39 out of the state’s 1600 ICU beds were available for COVID-19 patients, accident victims, cancer and others.

As of Wednesday, January 20, Ivey said the seven-day average for new cases was 2,666 which was below the after-holiday spike but way above the new cases of last three or four months.

The governor said the one thing that we can all do to help ourselves and others stay safe and healthy is just not complicated–wear masks, keep social distance and sanitize. And, If symptomatic, get tested and wait for the results before interacting with others.

On January 18, Alabama began providing COVID-19 vaccinations for people 75 years or older, first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters, statewide by appointment.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said it is his responsibility to make sure the vaccine gests out as quickly as possible.

 “To accelerate the pace of the rollout, we have several things we are implementing,” Harris said. “Health departments are to vaccinate all day every day until they run out. If there are cases where people have the vaccine and aren’t giving it, we are redistributing it to other locations. Each provider gets a week to administer the majority of the vaccine, if not, it will be transported somewhere else.”

Harris said Alabamians who want the vaccine are going to get it.

Locally, officials are asking for residents to abide by Gov. Ivey’s “safer at home” order.

“As the number of positive COVID cases and deaths in our state have begun to escalate once again, it is important that we all do our part to protect ourselves and others around us especially those who are most vulnerable,’ said Emily Aaron, Pike County Chamber of Commerce vice president. “One of the best ways we can do this is to be diligent in honoring our state’s mask mandate by wearing an appropriate face covering and maintaining six-foot distance when possible between people from other households. Let’s work together to help stop the spread.”

 For a list of Chamber members that carry face masks or coverings, contact the Pike County Chamber of Commerce at (334) 566-2294.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said what is being asked of us as individuals is best for all of us.

“Our nation needs to come together and do what we have to do to conquer this virus,” Boyd said. “Abide by what is being mandated, as individuals and as business owners.”

Boyd said businesses should require masks for entry.

“Wearing masks and maintaining social distance provides some measure of protection for the customers and for the employees,” she said. “If we are going to get rid of COVID-19, we’ve all got to do our part. Some of us can’t do it; together, all of us can.”