By Hannah Lester

Gov. Kay Ivey ended Alabama’s state of emergency today that first went into effect on March 13, 2020, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There were 26 supplemental proclamations issued since the start of the pandemic, handling everything from business shutdowns, public meetings, capacity at events, when businesses could reopen and more. 

“The State’s response to the pandemic has involved not just government but individuals and organizations from all corners of Alabama, working together and sacrificing for the public good, whereas although the pandemic is not over, our healthcare systems are better equipped to treat the COVID-19 virus, and effective vaccines are readily available,” the proclamation said. 

“Whereas our economic recovery ranks among the best in the Nation compared to that of other States; and whereas a state of emergency is therefore no longer presently necessary … the state of emergency pertaining to COVID-19 originally proclaimed on March 13, 2020, is terminated.”

Ivey’s safer apart order expired on May 31 and was not extended. 

Local businesses and government entities can still keep some policies in place to ensure safety among patrons. 

For instance, during Tuesday night’s Auburn City Council meeting, residents asked the council why the Boykin Community Center was not open for free basketball play as it was before the pandemic. 

City staff answered that there is not enough turnaround time in the mornings to clean the courts before children are there to use them for summer programs. The city hopes to protect children who are unable to be vaccinated, the staff said. 

However, there is much more normalcy to life in Auburn and Opelika now. Auburn will have 100% capacity in Jordan-Hare Stadium this fall, as well as full tailgating.