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Huntsville residents share mixed opinions on Alabama's new coronavirus Safer Apart order

While some are relieved, others say it's too soon to lift coronavirus restrictions.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 5:48 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 6:44 PM

Gov. Kay Ivey is giving us the green light as we move into the next phase of reopening. On Wednesday morning, she announced we are leaving the Safer At Home order behind and issued a new Safer Apart order.

The new order essentially makes all those required precautions like capacity, social distancing and masking optional, leaving it up to you to keep yourself safe.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey; Credit: @GovernorKayIvey Twitter page

"I kind of feel like it should be extended a little longer, but at the same time, it's been over a year," said Brandon Flowers, who lives in Huntsville.

People in North Alabama are feeling mixed emotions over the Safer Apart order that asks people to take personal responsibility, but Ivey says it's time.

"We have certainly worked hard this past year and we're finally rounding the corner. While we haven't whipped this deadly disease just yet, it appears, thank the good Lord, we are in the home stretch," Ivey said.

However, some are already choosing to not wear their masks.

"I'm starting to see more people without a mask than with a mask," Flowers said. "Hopefully, you know, numbers don't spike back up."

Many say it's too soon to take away the state mask order.

"I think it's better to be safe than sorry, so I think we should get our numbers down a little lower," Nyo Troupe said.

At this time, it's still unclear how many people will choose to continue to wear a mask and take the proper precautions.

"I might believe in this and somebody else might believe in that, so I think it's a personal thing," Troupe said.

However, many say they're choosing to do the right thing.

"I'm going to still wear my mask when I'm out and about," Flowers said.

Ivey urges people to do the same.

"Please, please continue to use your common sense, and we'll soon see the end of COVID-19," she said. 

The only restrictions that will remain in place during the Safer Apart order involve limited visitation at nursing homes and hospitals. All other previous restrictions are now only recommended.

With the new Safer Apart order, businesses can choose to operate at full capacity with no social distancing or masking in place starting this weekend. Many say it's too soon for that to happen.

Brandon Flowers says he will avoid businesses operating at full capacity. However, he is a small business owner, so he understands why some owners may choose to make that decision.

"No, not right now," Flowers said. "I see both times, but me personally, if it's full capacity, I probably won't go in there—me or my family."

Several businesses are choosing to keep safety precautions in place.

"We're going to continue doing this until everything is safe," the manager of Melt, Jennifer Hurt, said.

She says they will continue to wear masks and social distance their tables. The city is also working with the businesses in the area to close parts of Holmes Avenue to put more tables on the road and maintain social distancing.

However in the end, it will be up to each person individually to choose what safety precautions they take and where they will and won't go.

"That's my personal choice. If I choose to, I can. If I choose not to, it's okay," Troupe said.

Ivey says she decided to lift the restrictions because of current coronavirus numbers in Alabama. She says they've seen a 92% drop in the 7-day-average number of cases since the beginning of the year and an 89% drop in hospitalizations. Both those numbers are the lowest they've been since last spring. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says it's also the first time since the pandemic began that the test positivity rate in Alabama is below 5%.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 822085

Reported Deaths: 12001
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby914971575
Davidson86563918
Knox48960619
Hamilton42811480
Rutherford41428415
Williamson26942213
Sumner22909338
Montgomery18780223
Out of TN17852101
Wilson17747223
Unassigned16441132
Sullivan15781283
Blount14839194
Bradley14284147
Washington13850240
Sevier12986174
Maury12901166
Putnam11072173
Madison10628240
Robertson9486127
Anderson8539171
Hamblen8409169
Greene7645151
Tipton7171104
Coffee6782121
Dickson6643108
Cumberland6461127
Gibson6355144
Bedford6350126
Carter6332156
McMinn625595
Roane6124101
Jefferson6008121
Loudon595869
Lawrence573186
Hawkins5682105
Monroe564395
Warren549481
Dyer5340104
Franklin504987
Fayette484578
Obion447196
Cocke439598
Cheatham436551
Rhea428075
Lincoln427963
Marshall407358
Campbell405462
Weakley398761
Giles391298
Henderson368375
Carroll355582
Macon354375
White351468
Hardin346166
Hardeman345063
Lauderdale312744
Henry309775
Marion307246
Scott303145
Claiborne302373
Overton294360
Wayne294134
Hickman278345
McNairy275354
DeKalb273953
Smith271737
Haywood267660
Grainger255449
Trousdale247822
Morgan242839
Fentress236346
Johnson226738
Chester208651
Bledsoe208211
Crockett199848
Polk196024
Unicoi191149
Cannon187531
Union184034
Grundy176431
Lake169526
Humphreys168721
Sequatchie165228
Benton160940
Decatur156438
Lewis154826
Meigs132123
Stewart129328
Jackson129235
Clay108331
Houston107333
Perry105628
Moore99217
Van Buren82621
Pickett75524
Hancock53612

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