Disney smiles, boardwalk shots, parklet program: News from around our 50 states


Montgomery: Gov. Kay Ivey said Wednesday that the state is shifting to personal responsibility in the fight against COVID-19, keeping her promise to let a statewide face mask order expire Friday. Ivey said she’s issuing a “greatly slimmed down” health order that has few restrictions. It encourages people to keep taking precautions such as voluntarily wearing masks but no longer includes a statewide mask order. Alabama opened vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older two days ago, and state health officials said virus hospitalizations, percentage of positive tests and daily case numbers are hitting some of the lowest numbers in a year. But Alabama also ranks last in the country for the percentage of people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We are finally rounding the corner. While we haven’t whipped this deadly disease just yet, it appears that, thank the good Lord, we are in the home stretch. Please, please continue to use good common sense, and we will see the end of COVID-19 soon,” Ivey said. The Republican governor said she’ll keep wearing a mask around others after Friday and urged other Alabamians to do the same. She also urged people to respect businesses who require customers to wear masks.

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