MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey has extended the Safer at Home order, including the mask ordinance, until March 5 at 5 p.m.
The announcement came during a news conference Thursday morning. The order was scheduled to end Jan. 22.
“After Thanksgiving and Christmas, the hospitalizations were higher than ever. The 7-day average is 2,766 cases per day,” Ivey said. “Wear your mask, wash your hands and sanitize places you are. If you’re experiencing symptoms, please go get tested and don’t interact with people until you get the results.”
Ivey also said she wants to urge patience during the vaccination process.
“I’d like to thank the people of Alabama. Thank you for keeping on keeping on and being willing to take the vaccine. We will get through this together,” Ivey concluded.
Dr. Scott Harris also spoke on Thursday.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure you get a vaccine and I am going to make sure that happens. We are going to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible,” Harris said. “To accelerate the pace of the rollout, we have several things we are implementing. Health departments are to vaccinate all day every day until they run out. If there are cases where people have the vaccine and aren’t giving it, we are redistributing it to other locations. Each provider gets a week to administer the majority of the vaccine, if not, it will be transported somewhere else.”
Harris also said a partnership has been reached with Walmart Pharmacy, who will begin giving the vaccine as well.
According to Harris, the ADPH has 165 phone lines set up that are being overwhelmed with calls from people who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. He asks the public to please not call if you’re not eligible at this time because it makes it difficult for people they are trying to reach. An online portal is also available to make vaccine appointments.
As of Wednesday night, 202,643 vaccines have been given. About 42 percent of the vaccines distributed to Alabama have been given, and Harris says that is fairly typical of other states. He says the remaining doses are mostly second doses, and first doses that people have made appointments to receive. The main obstacle our state is facing is supply, according to Harris.
Harris says more people will be added to the eligibility list with the new presidential team, and to expect to hear more information about that soon.
“We are getting much closer and please continue to take measures to keep everyone safe. We have a means to get to the end now with the vaccination,” Harris concluded.
The details of the extended order remains the same as Ivey’s last extension in December.