In a press conference Thursday, May 21, Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris announced that an amended version of the state's safer-at-home order will go into effect Friday, May 22, at 5 p.m.
This amended order will allow for entertainment venues such as theaters, museums, bowling alleys and arcades to reopen under restrictions. Also, sporting activities will be allowed to resume, with games beginning June 15, under restrictions.
Ivey stated that Alabamians must now move forward and live with a new normal.
"We cannot sustain a delayed way of life as we seek a vaccine," Ivey stated, adding that Alabamians must exercise personal responsibility and do their part to stop the spread of the virus.
"We will continue putting personal responsibility on each citizen. That also extends to store owners, summer camps, youth sports coaches and pastors. It takes all of us to stop the spread of this disease. We can all do our part," Ivey said.
Harris echoed the need for personal responsiblity strongly urging people to use face coverings.
"Reopening Alabama only works if we all cooperate. This is still a safer at home order. We really need people to use face coverings. Avoid all unnecessary trips if you don’t have to make them. Use common sense. Stay home. We need to take social distancing very seriously. It is very important, more important than ever. We need to watch our own behavior," Harris said.
"There has to be a balance between people's health and the state's economic health," Ivey added.
During the conference, Ivey announced that the state has partnered with Apple and Google to use their contact tracing apps to help track persons in the state who might have been exposed to COVID-19. The tracking will be done using Bluetooth technology. Alabama joins North Carolina and South Carolina in utilizing the app, Ivey stated.
More information will be available later.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.