Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday that she will allow the state's stay-at-home order to expire on April 30th and said citizens will be asked to shift back to a system of voluntary social distancing to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Ivey said the virus is still a threat, but that data no longer suggests that Alabama's hospitals and intensive care units will be overwhelmed by infected patients requiring ventilators. Instead, the numbers indicate Alabama has successfully "flattened the curve" and avoided the worst-case scenario of rapid, widespread infection.

Under the safer-at-home plan, individuals are still encouraged to remain in their homes except for essential activities. Some lower-risk businesses and retailers may re-open subject to sanitation and social distancing guidelines. The state's beaches will reopen, and elective medical procedures can resume so long as they do not consume resources necessary to diagnose or treat COVID-19.

Many things will remain the same for the forseeable future, though: non-work gatherings are still limited to 10 people or fewer with six feet of distance between all people present. The state's schools are still closed. Child care facilities must not allow 12 or more children in a room. Hospitals and nursing homes must still restrict visitation. Restaurants, bars and breweries are still limited to take-out, curbside service and delivery, and all entertainment venues, athletic facilities and gyms and close-contact service providers such as barber shops, tattoo parlors and salons must stay closed.

This order is set to expire on May 15th, at which point the state either extend it or develop and release new guidelines.

A more digestible presentation of the safer-at-home order is attached below.

Stay tuned to this site and station for more information on the new order as it becomes available.

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