Masks Up or Masks Off? Alabama Statewide Mask Order Set to Expire on Friday
Montgomery, Ala. - Governor Kay Ivey's statewide mask order is set to expire this Friday at 5:00 p.m. She is holding a press conference today at 11:00 a.m. where she is widely expected to extend the order. Today's coronavirus update comes as the number of cases continues to increase, with many school systems set to start in the next few weeks. Some of Alabama’s largest school districts, including Birmingham and Montgomery, are opting for a virtual opening to the school year.
Governor Kay Ivey issued the updated Safer at Home Order earlier this month requiring Alabama residents and visitors to wear a mask in public, following a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases. The Order mandates wearing some form of face covering in any indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered. While violators of the order may be arrested, face a misdemeanor charge, and be jailed and fined $500, some localities have opted not to enforce it.
This comes as three Scottsboro residents filed a lawsuit against Governor Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris, the State Health Officer, challenging the validity of the Order. Seth Ashmore, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, told The Jackson County Sentinel that “it is a question of just how broad the governor’s powers are."