Health officials concerned about packed Alabama beaches during Memorial Day weekend


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Over the weekend, Alabama’s beaches were crowded and very little social distancing was seen.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is concerned that people could bring back whatever they may have gotten at the beach to their communities.

“It’s certainly good to be outside and good to be at the beach,” Landers said. “We don’t want to be again in congregate settings or close tight groups even if we are outside.”

Landers said behavior like this leads to the community spread of COVID-19.

“They don’t really know where they were exposed, and they don’t really have a good sense of when their exposure might have occurred,” Landers said.

This is also a concern for many mayors, like Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa.

“If individuals make bad decisions, they’re putting themselves at risk,” Maddox said. “They’re putting their family in their community at risk. And that is selfish.”

Maddox tweeted that Tuscaloosa County saw a 10 percent increase recently in the number of new coronavirus cases.

“I think when you look at the numbers, we’re seeing a lot of institutional spread,” he said. “We see it whether it be in nursing homes or facilities for those who suffer from mental illness.”

Public health officials said it will take two weeks to see if Memorial Day activities will affect the numbers.


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