Kay Ivey

Alabama’s beaches and retailers will be allowed to reopen when the governor’s current emergency order expires on Thursday at 5 p.m. In a new order from Gov. Kay Ivey, elective medical procedures will also be allowed to continue once again.

“What our citizens have done is working,” Ivey said Tuesday. She is encouraging people to continue social distancing practices, including wearing a mask, when out in public.

Retail businesses will be allowed to reopen at half their fire code occupancy and will have to monitor so customers are not standing in groups.

“The threat still exists,” said Ivey. “We must continue to be vigilant in our social distancing today and for the foreseeable future.”

Restaurants, entertainment venues and salons and barber shops remain closed under the new order. Ivey said they are continuing to discuss and evaluate when those businesses will be allowed to reopen. Her new order expires on May 15.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state has seen a leveling off of COVID-19 cases, but has not yet had the 14-day decline in cases as recommended by the White House and CDC to warrant a full re-opening.

He said the number of cases being added each day are “a couple hundred” and not the rapid increase experienced early on. Also, hospital are not suffering ventilator shortages, he said.

“All of this is very encouraging to us,” Harris said. “We believe there are certain types of activities that are reasonable to resume.”

As of Tuesday, the state had more than 6,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 242 deaths due to the disease. In St. Clair County, there were 69 confirmed cases and no deaths reported.

For more information about the characteristics of those people infected from the disease, go to alabamapublichealth.gov.

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