Gov. Kay Ivey expresses hope for COVID-19 vaccines, encourages holiday safety amid rising numbers

Michael Rodgers

The Gadsden Times
Gov. Kay Ivey speaks to members of the media as Sen. Andrew Jones, Rep. Ginny Shaver and Rep. Becky Nordgren look on following a groundbreaking ceremony for the widening of U.S. Highway 411 near Leesburg on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Gov. Kay Ivey expressed optimism about COVID-19 vaccines and encouraged Alabamians to stay safe during the holiday season in comments Monday.

Ivey attended a groundbreaking for the expansion of U.S. Highway 411 in Cherokee County, and following the ceremony, she fielded questions from members of the media.

Ivey said they are watching the state’s rising COVID-19 case counts “very closely,” but she said there is reason to be hopeful.

“We’ve got a bright spot on the horizon with two major pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, saying they’ve got vaccines that are 90% and 94.5% effective, respectively,” she said.

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“Hope is on the way — we’ve just got to stay strong and continue our protocols with masks, social distancing and washing your hands frequently. Just stay tuned because we’re going to get through this,” Ivey added.

She also said she doesn’t have any more statewide restrictions planned for now, though the situation is being monitored daily.

Earlier this month, Ivey announced that the state’s Safer at Home order will be extended until 5 p.m. on Dec. 11, but changed some occupancy rate ru

Across the state, COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

A late-July peak with a 7-day average of 1,851 new cases per day led to a steady decline shortly after the mask order was originally implemented.

Cases remained steady until early October and accelerated in November.

According to, the 7-day average of new cases rose from 1,124 on Nov. 9 to 1,541 on Monday — the highest since Aug. 3.

These numbers do not include probable cases.

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Ivey declined to speculate on what it would take to issue another round of business restrictions, but she did encourage people to be safe during the holidays by having small family gatherings at home and being outside when possible.

“Stay aware and continue your protocols,” she said. “Y’all, we’ve got to stick together to get through this because the vaccines are on their way.”