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Southeast Health will continue to require masks on hospital campus

Alabama’s mask mandate ends on Friday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m.
Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 11:47 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Governor Kay Ivey ordered the state mask mandate in July 2020. That order will be expiring on April 9 at 5:00 p.m., leaving it up to Alabamians to choose to continue to wear their mask or not.

“I absolutely respect Governor Ivey’s decision, really, nothing’s changed, all she has said now is that it is up to individuals to be responsible for wearing a mask,” Dr. George Narby, Chief Medical Officer at Southeast Health, said.

Masks are scientifically proved to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Although the mandate is expiring, Dr. Narby said there are reasons people should still be concerned and take precautions with the virus.

“The B117 variant is spreading, it is now the dominant strain in the United States and there’s parts of the country that are really having trouble and case volumes are actually increasing,” Dr. Narby said.

Dr. Narby said unfortunately there are only two ways out of this battle.

“Get the infection or get vaccinated,” Dr. Narby said.

70 to 90 percent of the population has to be immune to COVID-19 to reach herd immunity, Dr. Narby said the vaccine is the way to go.

“It’s safe, it’s effective and now it’s easier than ever to get vaccinated, there’s a lot of vaccine and there’s a lot of appointments,” Dr. Narby said.

Southeast Health is prepared for a fourth surge, however Dr. Narby said they do not want to have to face one again. To prevent that, he encourages continued mask wearing.

“Wearing masks and being personally responsible, and respecting your fellow man, your friends, your colleagues and your family, is one more way to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Narby said. “Its still out there.”

The state’s mandate may be expiring, but the Alabama Department of Public Health still encourages use of face masks.

As for Southeast Health, they will remain requiring masks on the hospital campus in order to protect patients and staff.

Alabama has had just under 518,000 COVID-19 cases since March of 2020. The state has administered over 1.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

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