Gov. Kay Ivey has extended her facemask order, telling the media Thursday that it's working and may be needed until a vaccine is available to fight COVID-19.
Ivey announced the order will continue through Oct. 2.
"I understand you don't want to wear a mask; I don't either," Ivey said during her late-morning press conference. "...But we are seeing significant drops (in COVID-19 infections) that are no doubt due to the mask order."
Ivey was firm, however, when asked if she's considering further restricting or closing businesses to better contain the virus.
"The last thing I want to do is close businesses...people need to make a livelihood and they need to be healthy to have a livelihood," Ivey said.
State Health Officer Scott Harris agreed with Ivey that the mask order is helping to lower the number of COVID-19 cases. However, he did issue a warning.
Harris admitted to having "trepidation" about the approaching Labor Day weekend. He urged people to stick with masks and social distancing, as well as to limit interaction with other families.
He said he's concerned about another spike of new cases around the state like the one after the July 4 holiday weekend earlier this summer.
The Auburn City Council meets at 2 p.m. in an emergency session to discuss possible actions to take locally after another weekend of university students packing downtown bars without regard to COVID-19 restrictions.
Auburn University officials have been working with city officials to coordinate local policy, opening quarantine dorms and barring large student gatherings on campus.
Check @oanow later for more details.
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