State Health Official: No plans to re-close Alabama despite spike in coronavirus cases

Dr. Scott Harris told WAAY 31 they are advising local governments on what to do or any additional measures to take.

Posted: Jun 15, 2020 6:31 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 8:29 AM

Over the last five days, there has been an increase in coronavirus cases. WAAY 31 wanted to know if this spike could lead to the state closing down again.

Dr. Scott Harris, the State Health Officer, told WAAY 31 as of right now, there are no plans to re-close the state. He said the state is advising local governments and it’s up to individuals to take the proper precautions, and closing businesses again would just be too difficult at this point.

"I think we all wish that we had started things a whole lot earlier and maybe could have lasted a whole lot longer, but reality is that all states are moving towards opening up. Alabama's no different," Harris said.

He said it's possible public or local officials could add in additional safety measures, but shutting down the state again would be difficult.

"I don't think there's a lot of public appetite for that and there's this COVID fatigue that you know is just not in Alabama, but it's everywhere," Harris said. "And I think whether it's health orders or any kind of law or regulations or anything else, you need the public's support or the public's buy-in, or it just doesn't work."

Harris said it's important people take personal responsibility to keep themselves and others around them safe.

"If people were able to follow those rules, we could have, you know, been out of the woods a long time ago, but I understand it's hard to change people's behavior," he said.

WAAY 31 reached out to Gov. Kay Ivey for comment about the recent spike, and her press secretary sent us a statement saying the governor continues to have discussions with Harris and monitor the situation. She said the governor urges everyone to do their part to keep themselves and everyone else safe. The current Safer at Home order is in effect until July 3.

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