News

Politics & Policy

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Issues Face Mask Mandate for Entire State, Threatens $500 Fine for Violators

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks to the media after being sworn in in Montgomery, Ala., April 2017. (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)

Alabama governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, issued a statewide order for residents to wear face masks in public spaces.

The order, which will take effect on Thursday, follows a surge in coronavirus cases in the state, with a concomitant rise in hospitalizations in several areas including Montgomery, Madison, Jefferson, and Mobile counties. Residents will be required to wear masks in indoor areas and on public transportation when social distancing is not possible, as well as at outdoor gatherings of more than ten people.

“You shouldn’t have to be ordered to do what’s in your own best interest, and the best interest of those you love,” Ivey said at a press conference. “I always prefer a personal responsibility over a government mandate. Yet, I also know with all of my heart that the numbers and the data over the past few weeks are definitely trending in the wrong direction.”

Ivey announced that the state recorded 2,141 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday night. “Folks, the numbers just do not lie,” Ivey said.

Residents will face a $500 fine and possible jail time if they do not comply with the order, although Ivey said that the state hopes not to need to enforce the penalties.

The mask order came after Dr. Don Williams, a former state health officer who is currently president of the Alabama Hospital Association, said on Tuesday that the state had a “short window” before the current outbreak spread out of control.

“I believe we could set ourselves up for what could be a potential disaster in terms of new infections,” Williamson said in comments to the Montgomery Advertiser.

States including California and Texas have paused reopening plans due to new surges in coronavirus cases, and various states have enacted penalties for residents who violate face mask or quarantine procedures. In New York, local officials in Rockland County have threatened to issue subpoenas to compel residents to comply with contact tracing efforts.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
Elections

The Man Who Wasn’t There

At first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the RealClearPolitics average expanded to ten points. The critical swing states of ... Read More
World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More