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Governor Kay Ivey updates 'Safer at Home' order, state mask mandate extended until April 9

Updates are expected to the statewide orders regarding COVID-19.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey updated Alabama's 'Safer at Home' order, including the statewide mask mandate, on March 4, 2021.

The statewide mask mandate is in place through April 9 at 5:00 p.m. Ivey says that after April 9, there will not be a mask mandate, and mask wearing will be a matter of personal responsibility.

Highlights:

- Senior Centers will be allowed to offer outdoor activities

- Day and overnight youth summer camps can reopen subject to certain rules regarding distancing, sanitation, and face-covering.

- Hospital and long-term care visitor limit increases to two people subject to certain rules regarding distancing, sanitation, and face-covering. 

- Seating limits in restaurants have been lifted subject to certain rules regarding distancing, sanitation, and face-covering.

RELATED: Texas to join 15 US states without statewide mask mandates

RELATED: Huntsville doctor says Alabama should extend mask mandate

From the Office of Governor Kay Ivey:

Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday issued her twenty-third supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This order extends until Friday, April 9, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Other changes:

Senior Centers:
Effective March 8, 2021, programs at Senior Citizen Centers, except for congregate meal programs, may resume, but only outdoors. Everyone at these programs shall wear facial coverings, unless an exception to facial-covering requirement would apply, and maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons from different households. Also, centers shall follow guidelines for outdoor programs issued by the Alabama Department of Senior Services. Senior Citizen Centers and their partners are urged to assure that their clients continue to receive needed meals via curbside pick-up or delivery.

Camps:
Effective March 6, 2021, day and overnight youth summer camps shall comply with the following rules: 

  • a. Social distancing. (i) Camps shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to maintain six feet of separation between persons of different households. (ii) Employees shall not knowingly allow campers or guests to participate in athletic activities in violation of paragraph 11. 
  • b. Sanitation. Camps shall take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces. 10 
  • c. Facial coverings. Each employee shall, to the greatest extent practicable, wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when in regular interaction with campers and guests. In addition to complying with the requirements of this paragraph, day and overnight youth summer camps are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Day and Overnight Youth Summer Camps,” available at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-youth-camps.pdf

Hospitals and similar institutions:

Effective March 6, 2021, all Hospitals and Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities) shall ensure that each patient or resident may be accompanied by as many as two caregivers at a time (in the case of hospitals) or receive visits from as many as two visitors at a time (in the case of nursing homes and long term care facilities), subject to reasonable restrictions imposed on the entrance of persons because of the COVID-19 county positivity rate, the facility’s COVID-19 status, a patient’s or resident’s COVID-19 status, caregiver/visitor symptoms, lack of adherence to proper infection control practices, or other relevant factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with the following guidance from the federal government.

Restaurants and similar establishments:
Effective March 6, 2021, all food service establishments and retail food stores permitted by the Alabama Department of Public Health shall operate as follows: a. Such establishments may continue to offer food for take-out or delivery provided the social distancing protocols, including maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are followed. 

b. Such establishments are strongly encouraged to offer online ordering and curbside pickup of food. c. Hospital food service areas and cafeterias operated by an educational institution described in paragraph 14 are excluded from this paragraph provided they have their own social distancing plan. 

d. Insofar as such establishments offer on-premises consumption of food or drink, they shall maintain at least six feet of separation between people seated at different tables, booths, chairs, or stools. However, people at different booths or tables may be seated closer than six feet apart if they are separated by solid partitions, as large as practicable, that are impermeable to respiratory droplets and aerosols. Games played at such establishments, such as pool and darts, may be played if players maintain 6 feet of distance from other players, game equipment is not shared by players during game play, and equipment is sanitized in between uses. 

e. Each employee shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times while in regular interaction with patrons or guests. 

f. Such establishments operating buffets, salad bars, and self-serve drink stations shall (i) ensure that at least one employee’s duties include maintaining six feet of distance among customers using the buffet, salad bar, or self-serve drink station and (ii) provide hand sanitizer and encourage customers to apply it before using the buffet, salad bar, or self-serve drink station. 

In addition to complying with the requirements of this paragraph, establishments subject to this paragraph are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars,” available at https://alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-restaurants-bars.pdf.