Alabama Governor Extends Mask Order: ‘We’re Not There Yet’

March 5, 2021 Updated: March 5, 2021

Alabama’s governor on March 4 extended the statewide mask mandate, in contrast to a number of counterparts who earlier this week eased mask restrictions.

“So most states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift up the restrictions. Folks, we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we are getting closer. A new modified order will include several changes that will ease up some of our current restrictions, while keeping our mask order in place for another five weeks,” Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, said during a press conference.

After April 9, the order will be rescinded, Ivey promised.

“There’s no question that wearing mask has been one of our greatest tools in combating the spread of the virus. That, along with practicing good hygiene and social distancing has helped us keep more people from getting sick, or worse, dying,” she added.

“And even when we lift the mask order, I will continue to wear my mask while I’m around others, and strongly urge my fellow citizens to use common sense and do the same thing, but at that time, it will become a matter of personal responsibility and not a government mandate.”

Alabama has seen a drop of 82 percent in the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases since Jan. 10. The average as of Tuesday was 778 per day.

The state has also seen a decrease in the average of daily COVID-19 hospital patients.

A number of governors, including the governors of Texas and Mississippi, earlier this week withdraw their mask mandates.

“It that time, it will become a matter of personal responsibility and it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told a briefing.

Epoch Times Photo
Band members wear masks as they perform before a football game between Thompson and Oxford in Alabaster, Ala., on Aug. 22, 2020. (Butch Dill/Getty Images)

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Studies indicate masks can prevent transmission of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have fallen sharply across the United States, prompting some officials to loosen restrictions. President Joe Biden and his top health advisers, though, have said now is not the time to weaken rules on mask wearing.

Biden told reporters in Washington on March 3 that the nation is making progress with vaccines, but “the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask and forget it.”

Abbott hit back during an appearance on “Fox & Friends, saying the insult “obviously is not the type of thing that a president should be saying.”

“But second, he kind of said it on the worst day he could have. Because the same day he said that, in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID,” he added.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday that Biden’s insult “was a reflection of his frustration and exasperation.”

She also reacted to Abbott’s immigrant claim.

Migrants are tested for COVID-19 when they are “placed in alternatives to detention,” with the help of state and local officials and non-governmental groups, she said.

“In general, our approach and our policy is to work with local governments, work with NGOs to ensure—to have testing—to ensure these migrants are tested. And that can take place, in that steps for isolation, quarantining, and medical care can be taken should that be needed,” she added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Follow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber