From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday urged state residents to be “smart and vigilant “about the continuing threat of the coronavirus even as the state takes steps to reopen.
“Let me be abundantly clear: the threat of COVID-19 remains,” Ivey said in a statement released by her office.
“I urge Alabamians to stay smart and vigilant as we continue practicing social distancing guidelines to combat this virus,” Ivey said.
Ivey said that Montgomery had been noted as a potential hot spot for cases, referencing a White House coronavirus report that listed the state capital as a location to watch for rising infection rates.
The number of coronavirus cases in the state have continued to rise. As of Friday, about 11,200 people in the state had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and about 475 people statewide had died.
Alabama on Monday allowed restaurants to resume on-site dining and hair salons, gyms and bars to reopen.
“It takes two or three weeks to know the effects of loosening public gathering restrictions, so we especially need our senior citizens and those with chronic health conditions to avoid gatherings, minimize trips out of the house, and stay away from others who are sick,” State Health Officer Scott Harris said.
Harris said one reason for an increase in cases in the Montgomery area was the increased availability of testing.