Local area plans for if Gov. Ivey reopens Alabama

Published 6:34 am Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Alabama was one of the last states in the United States to have its first confirmed case of COVID-19. A little more than a month later, Alabama has the 24th most cases in the country with 6,241 confirmed cases. It also has 219 deaths, which is 26th in the country.

Chambers County, which has less than 1 percent of the state’s population, has been one of the hardest-hit counties in the state. Of the confirmed cases, Chambers has 285 cases, which is the seventh most in the state and 18 deaths, which is the fourth most in the state.

Metrically, Chambers has been one of the hardest-hit counties in the country. Per 100,000 residents, Chambers leads the state with 842 cases and 53 deaths. The 53 deaths are tied for the 53 most in the country while the 842 cases are the 68th in the country. Both are in the top 2 percent in the country of 3,007 counties.

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“Chambers has had more than our fair share of cases and more than our fair share of deaths. It’s just been unfortunate,” Valley Mayor Lenard Riley said.

With most shelter-in-place orders expiring this week or early next week, governors have been figuring out the best way to reopen each state. Alabama’s plan, that was submitted for review on Apri 17, mostly reopened the state immediately with select business reopening a week later, but Gov. Kay Ivey did not approve that plan this past week.

She announced on Monday that she would hold a press conference on Tuesday to go over guidelines for reopening the state.

“On a call with members of the Alabama Legislature this morning, Gov. Ivey said she would make an announcement tomorrow (4/28) on her plans to begin reopening the state’s economy. She previously stated she would make a decision about a phased reopening of businesses on or before 4/28,” Rep. Danny Garrett wrote on Twitter.

At her press conference on April 21, Ivey wanted to see more testing and numbers before she made her decision to reopen. She also said that the state would reopen in phases.

In LaFayette, Mayor Barry Moody doesn’t think much will change in LaFayette if the state does reopen

“We aren’t going to be doing a lot of things that would be different in LaFayette,” Moody said. “I can definitely see some of our restaurants to allow a customer to place an order and sit down and eat. We haven’t decided to go back to life as it was before. A lot of these things are going to depend as these come up. I try to go based on the facts.”

Riley agrees with Ivey’s decision to start to reopen the state, as long as there is caution.

“I think it’s time that we reopen some,” Riley said. “We just have to be careful. We can’t open everything wide open. We’re going to implement the governor’s plan.”