Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced Thursday that she will once again extend the mask mandate that has required the use of face-coverings in public places since last July.

Even as vaccination efforts continue statewide and cases of the virus continue to decline, Ivey said experts like State Health Officer Scott Harris have advised her that Alabama is not yet out of the woods, although there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"There are definite indications we are moving in the right direction and I certainly want to thank the people of Alabama for their tremendous help and support to get us where we are," Ivey said. "Even with this positive news, however, Dr. Harris and I are both convinced that we need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether.

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Ivey extended the mask mandate another five weeks, but stated plainly that this is the last time she will do so before allowing it to expire in April.

"Let me be abundantly clear: After April 9th, I will not keep the mask order in effect," Ivey said.

Check out a series of Tweets from the governor explaining the decision below.

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