MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey is standing by her promise to keep the state’s businesses open.
“We know what to do, what works, what doesn’t,” Ivey said Thursday during an appearance at the Alabama National Guard headquarters in Montgomery. “I have no plans to shut down any businesses. They’re doing a good job of protecting their patrons and we need to keep our folks working and earning a living. So yes, the numbers are rising, but we know what to do. We know that the masks and social distancing and personal hygiene works. So folks, just keep it up, we’ll get through this. The vaccine is coming.”
While she has been keen on taking guidance from scientists studying the pandemic, Ivey has long-maintained her that she does not wish to close any more businesses. On Nov. 18, Ivey announced the start of the $200-million grant program Revive Plus, which provides a second wave of funding for state organizations with 50 or fewer employees. Each receiving organization can collect up to $20,000 for expenses they have taken on due to operational interruptions caused by the pandemic.
Ivey’s comments come as the record-high number of COVID-19 cases have been rocking the state. On Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 2,766 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest number of daily cases the state has seen.
Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers agreed with the governor’s call for people to keep their guard up and their masks on.
“I would strongly suggest people limit their activities to absolutely necessary activities. That is going to work and coming home. It’s all about crowds and closed in spaces this winter season,” Dr. Landers said.
Ivey’s current statewide mask mandate is set to expire on Dec. 11. There was no word from the governor or her office on if she will extend that order, but they say the announcement will be made soon.