Reaction To Relaxed Restrictions
Governor kay ivey announced new state covid guidance today... it's ahead of the expiration of her "safer at home" order on friday.
The new "safer apart" order lifts the statewide mask mandate.
But the governor says the state health department still strongly encourages wearing masks in public.
The order also encourages distancing - sanitizing - quarantine measures - and other practices.
In fact - all previous covid requirements are now recommendations other than some restrictions inside hospitals and nursing homes.
After a year of sacrifice - ivey says she thinks we've finally got an upper hand on the virus.
"we have certainly worked hard this past year and we're finally rounding the corner, and while we haven't whipped this deadly disease just yet.
It appears, thank the good lord, we are in the home stretch."
Ivey says as far as covid is concerned - staying safe means using common sense and taking personal responsibility.
Waay31's megan reyna joins us live from downtown huntsville tonight.
Megan - what are people saying about the announcement?
The governor's announcement today serving as some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.
But -- many people are still very aware this pandemic isn't over.
Ivey says: "today i am announcing we are now moving into our safer apart health order that will expire wednesday, may 5."
While alabama is technically still under a health order -- people in north alabama ... itching for some sense of normalcy.
Rodriguez says:"i think we're headed in that direction, i think we still probably have till the end of the year till we fully realized normalcy."
For wesley hembree he's spent the entire pandemic working from home.
And he's ready to get back into the office.
Now -- most of the decisions regarding safety protocols lies in the hands of businesses or local governments.
Hembree say:"i'm still teleworking and i've been doing that since march of last year and obviously that's not normal, so yeah it doesn't feel like things are back to normal even though the mask mandate is going to be lifted friday."
And many businesses and schools plan to keep masking in place.
Uah student maggie herda says she's still required to wear masks in the one in- person class she has.
Herda says:"it's like a little weird because i can't really, its hard to interact with your professors and everything like that, but i also feel like its a good idea to keep on wearing the masks."
While she thinks a state-wide mandate isn't necessary anymore... she says she'll continue to take precautions.
Herda says:"because no matter what there's still a disease, but it's been taken care of the best it can at this point."
A big message from the governor earlier was to continue practicing social distancing ... wearing a mask... and getting vaccinated.
Reporting live in hsv mr waay 31 news