tv Alabama Gov. Ivey Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN April 28, 2020 12:00pm-12:44pm EDT
security council fail to come up calls for ents and action and coordinated efforts. to saee regional in a global crisis like this taking the leadership. t is the u.s. that has to do it. it is the u.s. that has ton it every -- has done it and you can see in the absence of u.s. eadership the response is stumbling. >> thank you for that. running to the ends of our team here. want to give you, secretary kerry, an opportunity for any reflection or reactions to any and maybe we will hand it back. live to l live to go alabama where governor kay ivey giving a briefing on her state's pandemic response.
see, i have a i'mt team sevomebodied me and grateful to each of them, their ervice and participation in this process. i'm here to speak about the expires ome order that thursday april 30. irst we couldn't be here talking about this order that people of not for the labama abiding by the regulations and guidelines, for their sacrifices and patience the last six ing weeks. hat our citizens have done is worki working.
i appreciate that so many people do the en willing to tko right things to keep themselves protect s well as to others to be well and healthy, too. opinibeen and easy not in the we are perfect world but people of alabama are doing the hard ensure that we can get back to our routines as soon as possible. today, we are taking another step in that direction. before i announce the khaugs we i would g -- changes like to acknowledge a few people with me. a harris continues to be great partner in this venture and i know it is not and easy i do thank you, dr. harris for your wise counsel realistic approach as you have provided great leadership process.is
your measured and balanced have given people of alabama confidence that the you and i both serve and i know i'm not alone in gratitude for your leadership during this time. diligentlyhas worked to ensure that we have more testing capabilities. work to begin re-entry into our workplaces and return it is essential that we keep monitoring those covid-19.with the eopening the economy is not as simple as flipping a switch or fingers.your i have sought counsel from many many s and received recommendations. some of these are just the many reports and suggestions we received in the last few days from the small business commission to each member of our
in ressional delegation washington. these suggestions are very broad different many scenarios but i truly appreciate very one of them and hard work and partnership they represent. the seven members of the committee of the with virus task force are me and they have been working to help me incorporate these ideas plan.he this executive committee led by butlernce director kelly has recommended to me a houghtful, well planned timetab timetable on how to open the company. on april 30, our current stay home order will expire. stay-at-home order will expire. issuing it was not something i was extremely difficult to tell businesses to
close their doors but it was to get a f a need handle on the spread of this virus. march 13, i originally issued guidelines guidelines, strongly urged recommendations you might say part then did our hopefully that would have been enough me i spoke t at that time about -- enough. spoke about my reluctance to issue a stay-at-home because i government kills a business washington can't print enough money to bring it back to life. i offered a solution based on the information at the time to mitigate thead and once predicted hospital surge. is lieve that all business essential and regret any suggestion to the contrary. the size, if you are conducting commerce and a paycheck you have
tremendous value to the state. march 13, we selected a list of remain businesses to open based on their ri risk of the virus. it was never to pick winners and losers. e entered a safer at home recommendation on march 27 we hoped would eliminate the need accurate home order. -- stay-at-home order. didn't.nately it for that reason we enacted a due at-home order april 4 to the continued spread of virus and fear of hospital surge. this week, we no longer see ve our hospitals will an overwhelm iing amount of i.c. who need ventilators and that is good news. while we have not seen a number of newly
iagnosed patient we have seen stabilizati stabilization, a leveling off of he number of casesment like everyone else, i look forward to routines with caution. eased into this stay-at-home order we will be houghtful and careful as we ease back into social interactions. we will announcing enter a safer at home require t will still social distancing and urge our taking all ntinue health precautions necessary as ome will return to the workplace. while maintaining focus on our ersonal health, it is now time that we also focus on our economic health. this, too, will be a thoughtful,
process.l my fellow alabamians. say because of the efforts during these nprecedented days we can roll back many of the restrictions that have been placed on certain ocial gatherings and businesses. our ril 30 at 5:00 p.m. safer at home order will go into effect. all individuals and especially vulnerable persons are exercise personal responsibility in slowing down he spread of covid-19 by minimizing travel outside the hoem home. wear face urged to coverings around people from other households when you leave your house. no one is going to arrest you if ou don't, but it is just good sound medical advice and for your safety as well as the home you those with come in contact.
you are urged to continue proper and washing and other common spense hygiene. on nonwork related gatherings of 10 pens or more or -- persons or onwork gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance prohibited.ons are however, some top level changes in this new order are as follows. employers should take room steps reasonable steps for employees to gather of 10 practice more, to absorb social and make strong distance their office space. businesses will be allowed to open with a 50% and not allow commerce to congregate within another.of within -- of one another.
open ate beaches will be providing people abide by social mayors of coastal towns have assured me they will pro-active d and be in unforcing the gathering guidelines. procedures can resume if reasonable guidelines state regulatory boards or c.d.c. guidance. my fellow alabamians. clear.be abundantly not hreat of covid-19 is over. we are still seeing the virus spread and all of our people are infection. to the the greatest disservice for the people who might be watching me is to think that by lifting the comprehensive health restriction this must be a sign that there's no longer a threat
of covid-19. folks, we must continue to be social in our distancing both today and the foreseeable future. encourage everyone to practice productive teleworking if be as innovative as you can as you open your workplaces. ensure that you are taking other precaution while getting back to work. summcertainly been a challenging month but better are ahead of us. i want to thank the people of alabama for being disciplined as we move into what i hope will be a better season state. et me call on dr. harris to give his update. dr. harris. thank you, governor.
thanks you. everyone.ing, let me briefly remind you where we are right now. 6600 confirmed cases over the last month and a 242 deaths h about so far reported in alabama. like we have mentioned before, african-american to ama crians represent close half of them and that is because we believe this disease does for people lection with chronic health problems, diabetes and heart disease and and so on so we recognize that these are still vulnerable people that we need protect. very i do agree it is reasonable to begin a gradual opening like this. really appreciate the governor and what she's done. a really difficult
decision and issues ton a trick a terrific job trying to keep everyone staff and balancing things. there are certain types of activities that it is safe for labamians to resumement people do need to -- resume. people need to return to work we can.hat as safe as we feel like we have seen a recently improvements as governor mentioned to you. our case numbers are relatively flat. we are somewhere around a couple hundred case as day over the and we have seen numbers of about 148, 209, 189, and so on so occasionally we are a little higher or lower but to stay around the baseline of a couple hundred cases a day. the deaths we have seen have been fairly flat as well. e continue to see some of them unfortunately but they are not accelerating at the rates like earlier. we are very pleased how
hospitals have been able to capacity.their or have not been shortages when they did short-term they can share among themselves and manage that. adequate i.c.u. beds and ability to care for people the n the four walls of hospital and have not needed the alternative care sites we had for.ared all of these things are very encouraging to us. mentioned the white criteria for moving to a phase one opening of the economy. met two of those criteria and not all of them. we feel good about the criteria to symptoms and hospital capacity and we have yet to meet the? day sustained decline that is recommended in those guidelines. for that reason we are not proceeding to the full
opening consistent with the white house plan. the white house plan suggested entertainment and tpweufrpls and restaurants and -- gyms and restaurants and not doing at this time. but we do think what the is exactly tioned the right approach. it is gradual and reasonable way to safely get people back to work and get the economy going again. we will continue to monitor the case numbers we have and as to work and back out in public we hope they can things they need to do to keep us safe and healthy. we believe a gradual reopening but as lot of sense, governor ivey mentioned this is up to the people of alabama to they haveht things as been doing so far. ihave appreciated the efforts have seen from people. so many folks have done their
they are to make sure keying themselves safe and keeping -- keeping themselves and thatfamily members has been done at great perform iment -- many.nt we need to ask you to continue o do things a little differently for future. as governor mentioned we are recommend people wear face coverings like this or home that you can make at when you're going to be out in groups that you are not related can't maintain a six-foot distance. for a number of reasons this was an order but this is a very strong recommendation and we and it is the right thing we want all of you to do that. this is the mask i wore in the what i wear y and when go out for takeout and i encourage you to do that as well. most mportantly -- importantly please remember we need to protect the most
ulnerable people in our society. we have seniors who represent bout three-quarters of all the deaths so far but we have a lot of people with chronic disease diabetes and and heart disease and long disease nd they are more likely to do poorly if they are exposed. so, please keep that in mind you if you don't feel that yourself are at risk for the disease think about your loved care nd those that you about. and try to protect them as well. we know we have a ways to go to we were but were are moving in the right direction and exactly the right speed. is a close contact professions out there that we have not addressed today. where people literally put their hands on their customers are certainly a category that is different from other businesses and we hope to address that soon. we know people continue to have questions about that.
i will be glad to mention to you later if you like about what we are doing around testing and tracing. we have done some very good things in those areas and the ve we are moving in right direction there as well. again, just thank you to done ne for what you have so far and we appreciate all the efforts. ivey, for governor what you are doing. >> thank you, dr. harris. earlier, oned and sifting through the recommendations and bringing of this has o all been executive committee of my force.virus task they are the folks behind me today. group has been alabama's finance director kelly butler. make a few words on behalf of the executive if each member is interested and would like to
when we themselves, get to questions and answers you ask all the members and they will be prepared to take your questions. butler. butler: thank you, governor. a pleasure to be here. thank you, rst governor, and dr. harris for of blishing this committee very distinguished members of alabama's community. members who are medical doctors, accomplished is cal doctors, dr. vicars the current dean of u. a.b. school of medicine and dr. johns retired dean of university of virginia school of medicine. that e business leaders were part of the committee ncluding mr. ken vines president of blue cross, second canfield.e craig speak
speaker -- president pro tem and speaker mccutchen all very accomplished people and as joke we had one accountant which is me. i believe the make-up of the committee contributed to the and conversation we had and the committee was able to draw on the expertise of these members, draw on the medical doctors for expertise when it ame to those issues and business leaders when it came to two issues, draw on the highly elected state officials for all that leadership. led to a careful approach in the committee's work as much as it could be on data and expertise of the members. mentioned, we look the at volumes of information including small commission report, recommendations from the ongressional district members, recommendations from legislators, business people,
individuals. all of was to review that information along with the the fight against covid-19 and make ecommendations to the governor and dr. harris so that they could make the decisions they to make. the committee did produce a report and deliver that to them that the process was helpful and useful and i personally thank all the members of the committee for their team and effort they put into this. lastly, governor, i want to thank you and dr. harris for leadership throughout this seeking wisdom in guidance from as many people as you could. thank you. >> i thank the members for hard poring through pages documents and recommendations. folks in alabama one out of two
attend some bama type of church or religious wore service -- worship service and faith is clearly part of the of people of alabama. and getting back to worship as we have essential maintained our spiritual and health. like sole others who call on a so many others who call on a pastor or priest or rabbi i mine dr. jay wolf. getting back to the services with very much conce concern, however. discussing we were the effort to reopen alabama safely i asked jay if he would his network of friends across the state from all different denominations and the state,a and i share the lf to consensus of what many of our
religious leaders from feeling t alabama are at this time. dr. wolf. wolf: thank you so much, governor ivey. we thank god for you and for the privilege of contributing to your decision-making process reopening houses of worship in alabama. ivey, we wantrnor to honor the lord, help and god's people and do what is right and responsible. a task force was asked to rovide for governor ivey helpful and common sense considerations for reopening across alabamaip in accordance with the white house and c.d.c. recommendations want these guidelines were ministers, lay leaders and medical personnel
and in particular dr. don the head of the alabama public health department many years was our primary guide. the process for reopening hurches for large in person gatherin gatherings is proceed gradually fashion measured because covid-19 has proven to very ighly contagious and dangerous enemy. that t reopen in a way will not inadvertently this tate an outbreak for virus. many sad stories from other states have emerged where a id-19 has spread through congregation and even taken the created pastors and community outbreaks. he c.d.c. is recommending a three phase approach to reopening houses of worship. that the opinion c.d.c. guidelines should be follow followed. www.white house
--.gov, tkpwepg america and they will give you information. at this time alabama does not proposed by eria the c.d.c. for reopening houses large in person gatherings. reopening will be a process, not an event. according to the c.d.c. as the infections go down the number of people who can safely up.er will go consequently we are recommending that alabama follow the guidelines of the white house in c.d.c. and affirm that person corporate gatherings and n person small groups are not currently advisable. encouragedurches are to continue doing god's vital work of connecting with people using creative online services for worship, meetings
ministries. let's keep connected through echnology and use innovative serving projects an use the highly effective drive-up services. ith you it is not yet safe and wei wise to gather in person. patients and r of infections decline in accordance ith the c.d.c. guidelines and time lines larger in person groups can safely meet. at this juncture could facilitate outbreaks of could tragically harm our neighbors and set alabama's progress back. as we prepare to reopen places future which the will be based on the standards specified by the alabama public officials you are encouraged to consider and are a the guidelines that helpful game plan designed to
assist your congregation prepare for a safe reopening in the coming days. thank you so much, jay. efore we open for questions, let me answer one question that y'all's minds today. and that is what about shops ands and barber others like that that have been closed. open?will they be able to first of all, when we started anding about what to reopen what to close i want to go on the record i said dr. harris in my opinion hair stalists eisstylists.- style i'm looking forward to getting my hair salon. on a serious note we will work cosmetology board and alabama restaurant
association and other boards and associations to address every business that is currently on risk st of higher businesses still coasted. health regulate by the department such as restaurants and we know there are more got ions than we have answers for today like summer bowling gyms and alleys. of our the beginning new state safer at home order. of what he first phase we hope and expect will be a multiphase reopening of our state. as i said, we know what we are today will please some, and it will make others we are not going further at this time. must be always to keeping right balance
ur people safe and healthy and focused on the economic health of the state. happy to take your questions. yes, sir. our surrounding states play in your analysis? governor i'vy: have haven't alked to any fellow governors about this. this is with input from the small business commission, our delegation, and sits from their districts and committee behind me poring through and until now. alabama developed and reporter: can you address the testing situation and the disparities we've seen particularly in rural areas? what is the state testing right now? gov. ivey: the question is what
is the state of the testing, especially in the black belt area? governor. you, we believe we continue to increase capacity quite a bit. our county health department teams are doing clinics in all of these counties, not every county every day, but they are traveling to do that in every county. certain days of the week at least. we have been in discussions recently with our federally qualified health centers. you may be aware that nationally, they were awarded $400 million last week by congress by covid activities. much of that can be used to work with testing and possibly with other activities as well, for example contact tracing. we know that they are located in most counties in the state, it is where a lot of people go to get their health care. we think they will be excellent partners in helping us to do that. there have been other initiatives, the governor's office has been working with walmart to do some mobile testing sites.
they've been doing that in jefferson and montgomery counties. but they are also going to dallas county, clark county, will becounty, so there availability there. the real issue with testing is not the total amount of tests we have available in the state. if you add up all the capacity of all the labs, we probably have enough people to run tests. it is really about access, about having the testing in the right place. week, those of us in public health have reached out to every person who has submitted lab results to us, every lab that submits test results and asked them about their capacity and how many labs they can run and what barriers do they have for increasing their testing. really, the problem is an uneven tests.ution of it is definitely a barrier for people in rural areas to have to see a provider and get a test, and then maybe have to travel
somewhere else in another part of the town or another part of the county to get tested. we are working on ways to make it so that testing can be done in accordance with where people get their care. that is going to be the solution to the problem. reporter: [indiscernible] gov. ivey: i didn't hear all of your question. reporter: [indiscernible] gov. ivey: these are orders and if they violate, they are subject to a $500 fine, etc. i would encourage them to rethink that strategy. yes, sir. reporter: [indiscernible]
funeral services are still limited to no more than 10 people, six feet apart. reporter: [indiscernible] dr. harris: the question has to do with acquiring new testing materials. i think that has been an issue with all states as long as we have been involved in this response. we continue to have supply chain issues. we try to source materials everywhere we can. we wish we had a better access to testing materials. we are doing the most with what we have. we are working through our own channels and the governor's office has a team that has been terrific in helping us find those products in places that we don't even know where to look in public health. right now, we are stable with
that. we do feel like a lot of the time, we have just-in-time inventory. we are not sure if we can test tomorrow but at the last minute, we manage a way to do that. so we have not had any complete interruptions but it is still a bit of an issue every single day to make sure we have what we need. when will you reassess the issue of restaurants, barber step -- barbershops? how is not measured? visit hospitalizations? gov. ivey: it is several criteria, not just one category of measures. you look at vacancies of hospital beds, how many folks on ventilators or not on ventilators, icu beds, etc. we look at a cluster of factors to measure things. we have already started making inroads to the restaurant association.
they will be getting with this week or the first or next to provide recommendations. we will be addressing beauty shops and restaurants very soon. reporter: how will the state ensure lawyers are doing everything they can [indiscernible] gov. ivey: we trust the businesses and the state to be good citizens. i believe most of them are trying to do that and do what is right. anybodye not heard of personally complaining about not doing it. i think our business owners are responsible and they want to be healthy too, and they want their employees to be healthy. amount ofis the personal protective equipment available based on whether or not you will rollout restaurants to be open? gov. ivey: will the available of
ppe's? reporter: is it a factor or not of whether you will allow those businesses to open up again? gov. ivey: i have not met with those folks yet. we will certainly consider all factors. we just not have addressed at particular aspect of it yet. is the reason we are not going further is because we have not seen the white house aide criteria [indiscernible] we need to meet more of the criteria then we have thus far. this is the beginning of a reopening effort. once we reopen, as we have outlined with all retailers occupancy to have 50% and limited access to our beaches and press on with elective medical procedures, we
will see how this lasts. we are moving forward. a gentleman dealt -- a gentleman back there in the white shirt. there be aill football season in 2020? and if so [indiscernible] [indiscernible] gov. ivey: this is the end of april, so we've got some time to track our progress as we begin this limited reopening. we are hopeful. but i can to speak to specifics on that issue yet. reporter: [indiscernible]
dr. harris: the question has to do with contact tracing. i think most of you are aware of works.t but contract tracing has some -- is something we have done in public health with a lot of diseases. when we locate certain diseases, particularly ones that spread person-to-person, then we get in touch with all the people who are around that case and let them know that they may have been exposed and give them advice on what they can do or should do or to look out for. that is a really important part of what we do with covid-19 because it is spread person-to-person. when this exceed 500 or so people that have been diagnosed -- when the 6500 or so people that have been diagnosed, we attempt to learn from them, what in, of workplace they are and in many cases, we have to contact the workplace in case there are other exposures. you can imagine this is an
enormous task. every person may have dozens or scores of contacts that need to be traced. have identified is the way to get ahead of this is to make sure you are doing that on the scale you need to do. you may have seen in massachusetts, they hired a thousand people to do this work for a state of that size. we are going to use a number of different strategies to do that. we have already moved our staff internally, i believe i've spoken to you all about this before that, maybe last week. we normally have less than 10 people who are doing a lot of us. outbreak work for we have moved a lot of's staff internally and now have between 50 and 60 people who are doing that work. but we have also got volunteers who are helping us from medical students, for example, who can do that for at least a while. we clearly will need to fund additional resources and i
mentioned a moment ago, we have had discussions with our community health centers about their avail -- their availability to help us with that. there are phone banks we use for a lot of survey work that have hippo trained operators who are used to calling people and asking them questions and asking them about medical things that we can use as we need to. and there are also some really interesting electronic means that have been do that -- been designed by our big tech companies in the u.s. and the world. there a product from microsoft that i know dr. biggers knows a lot about. google and apple have a product they have been working on. there are others we have looked specifically. that involves tracking people based on their cell phone and allowing them to put information in and who their contacts are so they can be reached in an efficient way. ultimately, i think we will probably use some of all of those strategies. because until we have a vaccine
or an effective treatment, we will have to scale that up quite a bit. reporter: i have a follow-up question to that. were 120 people doing contact tracing. there are about 6000 cases, obviously the map -- the map shows it is not enough. how confident are you enough that they will be able to isolate those [indiscernible] think we have a lot of concerns about that. it is very important that we are able to do that. one of the distinctions we make when we get a new case is do we have a new case that is linked epidemiologic lead to another case? if you have an infected person, is it because we know they live in a house with someone who is infected? that is a case we can explain. or is it a case with non-exposure? those are the ones that concern
us because that tells us that there is community transmission going on. people getting infected without having any known exposure. in addition to seeing those numbers improve, we want to make sure those non-epi linked cases are the ones that are going down. and they actually have been. they are not at the. . level we would like to see -- not at the level we would like to see. reporter: [indiscernible] dr. harris: there are a lot of ways to calculate that. we need a certain amount of fte's, and it certainly doesn't mean public health employees. but we need hundreds of fte's to do it. there are certainly some turnkey solutions out there. there are companies that are professional contact tracing companies that you can contract as you need to. -- what wewe anticipate in the future is we will be able to manage our workload with certain amount of
capacity. but we may see an occasional outbreak if you have a nursing home infection or you have a workplace infection like we have seen recently. and then you mean -- you may need to add additional capacity like on a contract. announcer: from alabama, we go to new york. governor andrew cuomo is giving an update on his state's to the pandemic. we joined this in progress live on c-span. governor cuomo: government policies put in place, i can't even remember the last time. theven't even seen in history books that the government was more disruptive to individual life. no businesses, everybody stays home. no schools. what happens if new yorkers said we are not doing that? we are not doing that. it is too much. it is an