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Ivey extends mask order, lifts occupancy limits on shops, restaurants

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey extended the state-wide mask order until Friday, Dec. 11 but has lifted restrictions on occupancy limits for the state’s restaurants, shops and close contact service providers like hair and nail salons.

“In order to alleviate the burden placed on our small businesses and restaurant owners, we will be rolling back restrictions on occupancy rates,” she said. “This should be welcome news as we get ready for the upcoming holiday season which is often the bread and butter for retail and especially our small, locally owned businesses.”

While Ivey has lifted occupancy limits, the Governor urged for Alabamians to continue to continue to “do the right thing” and “mask up” while practicing social distancing guidelines suggested by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“No one is immune,” she said.

After the Governor’s announcement, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris took to the podium to report the latest numbers pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic in Alabama.

According to Harris, COVID-19 has killed 3,000 Alabamians to date while 200,000, 4 percent of the state’s population, have tested positive for the virus.

Harris reported that after a plateau in cases from the end of August to the middle of October, cases are once again on the rise, though not as quickly as the rapidly climbing numbers in June and July.

According to Harris, 22,000 people have tested positive for the virus within the past two weeks and 1,000 Alabamians are in the hospital with the sickness.