Alabama will move forward with the reopening of schools under the mandate that students grades second and above must wear facial coverings.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced today the state’s mask order, in place since mid-July, will be extended through Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. The order, designed to slow the spread of coronavirus, was set to expire at the end of July.
“These decisions are not easy, and they are certainly not fun and there’s no way in the world you’re going to make everybody happy 100% of the time,” Ivey said. “Because no one enjoys wearing a mask…I believe we are making progress in this arena. We must remain vigilant if we’re going to get our kids back and school and keep our economy open.”
The update to the “Safer at Home” order requires masks in schools and colleges, “where possible,” for employees and students in second grade and above. More importantly, it signals the state won’t step in to prevent schools from reopening for in-person learning with some schools planning to bring students back to class next week.
Ivey encouraged schools to move ahead with phased openings of in-classroom learning.
“We need to do everything we can to get our students back in the classroom,” she said.
Other school systems have opted for virtual learning for up to 9 weeks as the state continues to see increases in coronavirus cases.
The order states a face covering must be worn in public when in close contact with other people. Specifically, it stipulates Alabamians must wear a mask when within 6 feet of a person from another household; in an indoor space open to the public; a vehicle operated by a transportation service such as Uber; or an outdoor public space where 10 or more people are gathered.