MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s now been one week since Gov. Kay Ivey extended the states safer at home order, and now some of the nation’s top doctors are coming out in support of governor’s making mask mandatory. Alabama currently does not have a statewide mask mandate.
“Governor Ivey and Dr. Harris have made their message clear that Alabamians should wear a mask, practice social distancing and exercise personal responsibility in all things as we work to combat this virus. She has been consistent from the beginning – this virus should be taken seriously. The governor has prescribed our state measures; now it’s time for each region to do their part as well. Each area is unique and is working with their own set of data specific to their town or city, which is why the governor supports the decisions of local governments or businesses to require masks to be worn,” press secretary Gina Maiola said.
In recent comments, one of the nation’s top epidemiologists, Dr. Anthony Fauci, supported the idea of governors mandating wearing masks while out in public.
“If governors and others essentially mandate the use of masks, when you have an outbreak, I think that would be very important,” Fauci said.
Following the Fourth of July holiday, state health officials say they are expecting the COVID-19 cases to increase.
“We did see an increase after memorial day, which really set us up to be where we are now,” said Dr. Karen Landers, medical officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Northern/Northeast zones.
Landers said she would like to see the politics of wearing a mask removed.
“It’s science. And really at this point in time, we have limited options to prevent this virus,” she said.
Lori Herring, a retired nurse, does support the government mandating mask use, but wants to leave it to the individual.
“Eagle Forum is for personal responsibility, and we believe that it is something that we should strongly consider doing because it’s not just to protect yourself,” Herring said.
As schools prepare to reopen in the fall, the Alabama State Department of Education announced Wednesday that they have purchased 2.5 million face coverings for schools.
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