Governor Kay Ivey has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency that relaxes some healthcare regulations, a period that was scheduled to expire on Tuesday, until October 31.
The governor first called the state of emergency “limited and targeted” on Aug. 12, as the push from the Delta variant and Alabama’s low vaccination rate was still on the rise. It aims to help hospitals adjust to the number of cases of the virus.
The number of cases and hospitalizations in Alabama began to decline a few weeks later. The total number of patients in Alabama hospitals with COVID-19 fell below 1,000 on Friday, the first time that number has been so low since July.
The number of new cases reported per day in Alabama has fallen by more than 70% since early September, the governor’s office said.
Despite this, the governor’s proclamation today indicates that the pandemic persists and “continues to present a serious threat to public health, taxing Alabama hospitals, many of which were already struggling to staff their facilities.”
The proclamation relaxes some regulations to help allow for increased capacity in healthcare facilities, additional liability protections, increased authority for frontline healthcare workers, and easier shipment of healthcare equipment and supplies. emergency, said the governor’s office. It allows out-of-state physicians, nurses, and pharmacists to practice in Alabama under expedited licenses or temporary permits.