Could we see a statewide mask order?

Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 11:40 AM CDT
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By Joshua Gauntt | June 26, 2020 at 10:16 PM CDT - Updated June 26 at 10:57 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With Jefferson County’s announcement, many are now watching to see if a statewide mask order could be in the works for Alabama.

State health officials say we’re not close to being out of the woods as coronavirus numbers continue to rise.

“We simply aren’t heading the right way in Alabama. The numbers are headed the wrong direction,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

Harris says wearing a face mask is one of the main things you can do to slow the spread, but he says that’s become political. He and other health experts say politics shouldn’t play a role in public health.

When it comes to a statewide face mask ordinance, Harris is leaving decisions in the hands of local leaders for now.

“The bottom line is masks do prevent infections and masks do save lives. We feel like local officials do need to make those decisions for their community. We’re going to be making sure that local officials have all the information they need about their county or municipality to the degree that we’re able to get it, and we need mayor’s to step up and do what’s right for their community,” Harris said.

UAB’s Dr. Michael Saag called it our patriotic duty to wear face masks. He says it’s something that helps keep us safe and that we all need to do together to combat the virus.

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