Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says state’s stay-at-home order will remain in place at least through April 30

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says state’s stay-at-home order will remain in place at least through April 30

By Carrie Brown McWhorter

The Alabama Baptist

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the state’s stay-at-home order will remain in place at least through April 30 as the state continues to confront the global coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement shared via social media this morning (April 21), Ivey said, “I’m as eager as anyone to get our economy spinning on all cylinders again, but we must make sure we’re doing it in a smart and productive way.”

And speaking at a morning news conference, Ivey said decisions to reopen would be based on data, not a desired date, and the rate of positive tests would need to decline over a period of days. The White House recommendation is 14 days of decline in the number of new cases, and Ivey said she plans to adhere to that.

In addition, testing is still a challenge, Ivey said.

“Until we can get enough testing done, we can’t fully open the economy,” she said. “We’re not testing enough yet. [We’re testing] a little less than 1% of our population. We need to do a lot more testing.”

State needs to test more

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris was one of several state leaders who joined the governor to address Alabama’s current coronavirus situation.

Data from the Alabama Department of Public Health shows that as of April 21, Alabama has 5,156 confirmed cases of coronavirus out of 48,387 total tested. Hospitalizations due to the virus stand at 699 statewide, with 176 reported deaths.

Harris said Alabama has passed the point “where we thought we might have a hospital surge and that surge has been contained within the state’s hospitals and we’re very happy about that.”

Harris noted that “as people have stayed home and stayed away from others who are sick,” the number of cases has decreased in a way that “makes us feel a lot more confident going forward as we make decisions about what to do next.”

Harris said the state’s coronavirus task force has received “numerous recommendations” from various groups in Alabama, including mayors, business groups and individuals, as well as information from the White House’s coronavirus task force and information from surrounding states.

“All of that has been taken into consideration” in continuing the state’s stay-at-home order, Harris said.

Harris also reiterated that testing is a concern.

“Some day in the future, we would like testing to be available when testing is needed,” Harris said. “We want to feel comfortable we can test people when they need to be tested.”

‘Do our part’

Harris said no state, including Alabama, is near that testing capability yet.

“We need to be able to respond as [Alabama Department of] Public Health when we see outbreaks occurring and do contact tracing on those people who test positive,” Harris said.

Ivey said she is “confident that better days are ahead” and thanked Alabamians for their partnership and their “willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.”

Maintaining that effort is the key to reopening the state, she suggested.

“Social distancing, personal hygiene, staying at home if you can, going to work if you can,” she said. “We’ve simply got to do our part, one person at a time.”