Governor Ivey Announces Statewide “Safer at Home” Mask Requirement

By  | July 15, 2020 | Filed under: News

MONTGOMERY-On Wednesday, July 15 Governor Kay Ivey along with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris announced that Alabama will now join ranks of states requiring a mask.

The governor amended the “Safer at Home” order to include that mask be required in public when people are interacting within the 6 feet/social distancing rule.  This applies to people other than the ones who live in the same household.  There will also be certain exceptions.

When is a mask required?  You must wear a mask when you are in a public area and in close contact with other people.  Specifically, the order says to wear a mask when you are within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places: (a) an indoor space open to the public; (b) a vehicle operated by a transportation service; and (c) an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered.

What are the exceptions for wearing a mask? There are five categories of exceptions. The largest category, exceptions for “practical necessity,” covers people or situations where mask use is incompatible with the realities of life—for example, children six or younger, people with certain medical conditions or disabilities, eating and drinking, medical and dental procedures, and so on. There are also categories of exceptions for exercise, for communicating with an audience, and for certain essential job functions. An additional category carves out narrow exceptions for protected activities like voting and religious worship— but even then, wearing a mask is strongly encouraged.

According to the order all kinds of masks can be used….store-bought, homemade, or improvised from scarves, bananas or other household items.  The main object of the order is the mask should cover your nose and mouth.

Ivey who has opposed the order for wearing a mask has said that calls for the statewide order have come from cities, towns and counties throughout Alabama as well as from the Alabama Hospital Association and the large spike in COVID-19 cases in Alabama.

On Monday, Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said state data showed about 30 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients might need ICU care with between 12 and 13 percent possibly needing a ventilator.

The new mask requirement goes into effect on Thursday, July 16 at 5PM and is set to expire on July 31, 2020.

From the Governors Office concerning the mask requirment order:

 Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued her fourteenth supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until July 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Amended Safer at Home Order

Mask Order FAQ

Safer at Home Info Sheet 1

Safer at Home Info Sheet 2

Safer at Home Info Sheet 3

Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation

 

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