MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has extended through the end of the October a COVID-19 state of emergency that relaxes some health care regulations to help hospitals with coronavirus patients.
The order was scheduled to expire Tuesday. The order was aimed at helping hospitals adjust to the caseload from the virus, al.com reported. Ivey first ordered the “limited, narrowly-focused” state of emergency on Aug. 12 because of a surge from the delta variant of the coronavirus and Alabama’s low vaccination rate.
The governor’s office said Friday’s proclamation relaxes regulation to allow expanded capacity in health care facilities and easier shipment of emergency equipment and supplies. It also allows out-of-state doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to practice in Alabama under expedited licenses or temporary permits.
The number of patients in Alabama hospitals with COVID-19 fell under 1,000 on Friday, the first time since July. The number of new daily cases in Alabama has dropped more than 70% since early September, the governor’s office said.
However, the governor’s proclamation says the pandemic “continues to present a serious threat to public health, taxing Alabama hospitals, many of which were already struggling to staff their facilities.”