kay ivey mask

Alabama's statewide mask mandate will expire on April 9, Gov. Ivey announced in a live press briefing Thursday.

The mandate was set to expire Friday at 5 p.m. but will now continue past the Easter holiday on April 4. Ivey said the mandate would not extend beyond April 9.

“Alabamians are smart," Ivey said. "They have good common sense. They know what works. But after (April) 9th, we’re not having a mask mandate.”

Once the mandate expires, wearing the mask will be "personal responsibility," not a government requirement, she said. Ivey said she would continue to wear the mask around other people.

In the six weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the decline in Alabama since the state's late-January peak of over 3,000 patients. As of Wednesday, 559 Alabamians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Statewide, 10,094 residents have died of COVID-19. To date, 498,076 Alabamians have been infected with COVID-19. Nearly 300,000 are presumed recovered.