The statewide mask order that was set to expire Friday has now been extended for another month and will include some additional requirements for students. The decision was made by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as cases continue to surge and COVID intensive care units in many areas are reaching capacity. Governor Ivey has extended the mask order until August 31st; health officials believe it’s the right thing to do in order to keep the economy running and as schools across the state are preparing to reopen.
During Ivey’s news conference, she announced students in second grade and above will be required to wear masks in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus as schools reopen for fall semester. While many school systems have decided to begin the year with virtual instruction, Ivey, who is a former educator, urged school systems to gradually phase in “in-person” instruction if at all possible. State Health Officer Scott Harris says the extension was the right thing to do and anticipates 2-3 weeks to judge if the order is going to make a difference in transmission rates.