HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Good news coming from Madison County leaders Wednesday. After being under a mask order for the last three weeks, the county is starting to see a decline in cases.
Dr. Pam Hudson with Crestwood Medical Center said there have been seven straight days of a decline in cases. Those numbers have been declining every day since July 22. Before that date, on average 175 new cases a day were reported. Wednesday Hudson reported 56.
Hudson said Madison County seems to be trending in the right direction faster than other parts of the state. She attributes that to Madison County placing a mask order a week earlier than the rest of Alabama.
The new statewide mask order expires on Aug. 31, but Hudson believes it will and should be extended even later. She said we need to keep wearing a mask until a vaccine is available.
“We’ve had a glimpse of what happens if we don’t do it and we don’t want any more rocket ship spikes,” said Hudson. “Our goal here is to delay the spikes till after a vaccine is available or until there is a very good treatment that keeps people from getting so sick with it. Our masks are our temporary vaccine and temporary treatment.”
Refusing to wear a mask means you could be arrested or fined.
We reached out to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Huntsville Police Department in regard to citations issued to businesses or people not following the order. We learned zero citations have been issued.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley believes the mask order is being enforced and most of the people are following the rules.
“No, I don’t think they’re not enforcing it,” said Finley. “I think absolutely most folks are complying, we go in and we have always said we were going to be consultive. We don’t always wait for someone to send us something. They are out daily going to these businesses and organizations. For the most part, they meet all the requirements.”
Law enforcement officials we have talked to said from the beginning, they are not trying to issue any citations. Rather they want to use this as an opportunity to educate people about impacts of the virus.
They will continue to use that approach as the statewide mask order has been extended until the end of August.