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Safer at home order continues

Whether there are too many or too few restrictions on citizens in light of COVID-19 is a matter of opinion – and, in some arenas, a matter of heated debate and controversy. In Alabama, the state further relaxed restrictions last week, while continuing to urge caution and a “safer at home” mentality.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued an amended Safer at Home Order to be applied statewide. The order, which includes an expanded list of places to reopen, went into effect May 22 at 5 p.m. and will continue through July 3 at 5 p.m.

Under the new order, “entertainment venues” are now permitted to reopen, as long as they follow safety measures like social distancing, maximum 50 percent occupancy, face coverings for employees and regular disinfecting for surfaces.

These venues, according to the order, include bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, museums, public playgrounds and the like.

The new order also includes guidelines for athletic activities, childcare centers, school campuses and summer camps.

“Entering the stay-at-home order in April and the current safer-at-home order we’re now in has always been an attempt to slow down the spread,” noted Gov. Kay Ivey in her public address Thursday. “We knew we would never be able to eliminate it, but we wanted to slow it down … and prevent a surge in (the need for) our hospital ICU beds.”

In Franklin County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is up to 474, out of 1,906 tests, as of Tuesday morning, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Statewide, confirmed cases have risen to 15,194, with 192,602 tested.

Six deaths have been reported for Franklin County; 566 have died across the state.

“Our numbers are not as good as we would hope,” Ivey said. “It’s something we’re certainly going to keep a strong eye on in the following days and weeks.”

For more information and fact sheets on the current restrictions, visit https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/2020/05/governor-ivey-issues-amended-safer-at-home-order-2.

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