Gov. Kay Ivey announced a statewide mandatory masking order during a news conference July 15.
The order went into effect at 5 p.m. July 16. It follows mandatory masking orders already put into place by some local governments in the state, including the city of Decatur and Madison County.
Ivey said the masking requirement is an addition to the state’s Safer at Home Order set to expire on July 31 at 5 p.m. She said the idea is not to issue penalties. However, there is a penalty of $500 or jailtime.
People are required to wear masks in public when interacting within 6 feet with people of another household.
Ivey said there are 1,183 coronavirus deaths. She said in the two-week period from June 29 to July 13, the state’s total number of cases rose by 50%. She also said that the number of hospitalized patients increased significantly.
Despite all our best efforts, cases are still increasing, Ivey said. She said the state is almost to the point where ICUs are overwhelmed.
“Folks, the numbers just do not lie,” Ivey said on Wednesday.
Ivey was joined by State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. He said only 12% of ICU beds are open in the state.
You can watch the news conference below. Stay with WAAY 31 for updates on air and online.