MONTGOMERY - Governor Kay Ivey issued two supplemental state of emergency proclamations Friday, May 8, as part of the state's continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first supplemental emergency proclamation provides liability protection for healthcare providers, shielding them from frivolous lawsuits based on actions they took or failed to take as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order also protects businesses from frivolous lawsuits when they conduct COVID-19 testings or distribute personal protective equipment, or PPE to help protect people from COVID-19. The order is based on an aspect of the Emergency Management Act which specifically grants immunity in certain instances where people or companies are trying to comploy with the state's emergency orders. Ivey noted that the order, "in now way shields healthcare workers and/or businesses from claims of egregious misconduct." Claims based on egregious misconduct will be allowed to proceed.
The second supplemental order covers several subjects. It will allow probate judges in the state to reduce the number of poll workers needed for the upcoming July 14, primary runoff election, if necessary, as well as conduct poll worker training remotely. it will also cut "red tape" for electric cooperatives seeking to obtain emergency loans.
Finally, the second supplemental order will extend Alabama's formal "public health emergency" for 60 days, beginning May 13. The proclamation states that, "due to the continuing impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 on the State of Alabama, the conditions of disaster and extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State of Alabama continue to exist." This extension basically means that any state laws which conflict with the proclamation are suspended for the duration of the state of emergency.
Ivey will be holding a press conference at 10:55 a.m. this morning.