MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey held a joint press conference with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris to provide further updates on Alabama’s efforts to combat COVID-19.
Ivey and Harris announced more non-essential businesses that would be closed until April 17 in order to help prevent the spread of the virus. Ivey added that she does not see the need to shut down the entire state, but to keep businesses closed longer to help combat the rapidly spreading virus.
Harris said the statewide health order will start Saturday at 5 p.m. and run through April 17.
According to ADPH, there are now 567 confirmed cases and three coronavirus-related deaths as of Friday morning in the state. Health officials say the confirmed deaths are from Jackson, Madison, and Lauderdale counties.
According to Mobile County officials, there is also a confirmed coronavirus-related death, possibly making it Alabama’s fourth death. ADPH is currently investigating the death but has yet to confirm it.
On Thursday, Ivey and Alabama State Department of Education Superintendent Eric Mackey announced that due to the coronavirus outbreak, all Alabama schools will not return for the remainder of the academic school year.
Starting on April 6, all students will begin online classes. The school year has also been extended through June 5.
Mackey said that school officials are working out the details on how to make sure students have the proper resources needed for the huge adjustment. They are also making sure seniors still receive the needed resources in order to be college-ready and graduate.