Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, which means the Christmas holiday season will be here before we know it. The holidays bring many exciting opportunities to gather and celebrate with family and friends, and this holiday season, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to progress across our communities.
The United States surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the first ten days of November, and several states broke their record for the daily number of new COVID-19 cases reported. Health officials earlier this year warned Americans of the probability of a second wave as winter approached, and it is evident that we are entering this predicted phase of the pandemic.
Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris recently announced an extension to the current Safer at Home order which is now set to expire on Friday, December 11. The updated order keeps the statewide mask mandate in place, and I encourage you to become familiar with the rest of the current guidelines. Public health orders are only as successful as the public’s awareness and adherence to them. This is a time for everyone to recognize the ongoing changes from the climb in cases to updated health and safety measures in place.
The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and daily deaths across the state are on the rise. Although it may not be as sharp an increase in Alabama as we are seeing in other areas of the country, it is still imperative Alabamians take this virus seriously and adhere to all guidelines implemented by our public officials.
I know we are all desperate to get back to our normal routines, but as the holidays approach, please be mindful of your health and the health of those around you. We have already lost over 3,200 precious lives across Alabama throughout the course of this pandemic, and we must remain responsible and diligent to ensure this virus does not continue to rapidly claim the lives of Alabamians.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.