Alabama hospitals supporting extension of statewide mask mandate

Will Governor Ivey roll back health restrictions like some other states?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - With other states around the country lifting mask mandates and COVID-19 restrictions, many are wondering if we’re next.

Alabama’s current state health order is set to expire Friday if Governor Kay Ivey doesn’t extend it, but hospital leaders are already pushing her to keep it in place.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said if we keep on the right track, the virus should be controlled in a couple of months.

“We have the disease for the first time maybe on the run. It just seems like a perfect opportunity to push this disease down,” Dr. Williamson said.

He said now is not the time to let your guard down.

“Our concern is that we have been here before. You can have a peak and then people get better then you can have another peak.”

That’s why Dr. Williamson with the entire hospital association is throwing its full support behind an extension of a statewide mask order order until more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Combining vaccinations with people who have the disease, probably over one million people in Alabama seem to have some level of immunity,” he said.

Under the current state safer at home order, restaurants are required to limit seating with tables spread apart and additional sanitation procedures.

That’s exactly what our crews saw at local restaurants Melt-Huntsville and La Esquina Cocina.

Managers there said for them, staying vigilant is just part of their daily routine.

“We are constantly wiping down tables and door handles as well. Constantly wiping down the chairs,” said manager Allen Jimenez from La Esquina Cocina.

“We’ve made it a habit. It’s not something new to us anymore. Just something that we are used to doing,” said Jennifer Hurt who is the Assistant General Manager for Melt- Huntsville.

Dr. Williamson said he wants to stress that regardless of if there’s a mask mandate, people should wear them as part of their personal responsibility.

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