Statewide mask mandate ends next month, but could masks still be required in Madison County?

Could a mask mandate continue in Madison County after it's lifted in the state?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In a matter of weeks, whether to wear a mask or not will be up to you. The state mask mandate expires next month.

Governor Kay Ivey said city and county leaders could issue mandates.

There was a mask order in Madison County prior to the governor’s mandate. We spent Friday trying to figure out whether that stays in place.

Everyone we spoke with, who represents Madison County, said it is too premature to determine what will happen after April 9th. But we were told it really all depends on case count and hospitalization rate throughout the county leading up to the 9th of April.

Madison Mayor, Paul Finley, said his team was meeting early next week to discuss the plans moving forward.

He told us he was very happy because there was an end date to the governor’s mask mandate and that gives him time to determine what is best for his community.

A spokesperson with the ADPH told us any decisions made regarding the Madison County mask order would ultimately be made after speaking with the Madison County Board of Health and discussion with elected leaders.

A spokesperson for Dr. Karen Landers’ office said:

“It would be premature to consider discussion of the Madison County mask order, at this time, as this would be a decision made upon factors as they exist nearing April 9 including county infection rate, uptake of vaccine, hospitalizations, for example. Any decisions made regarding the Madison County mask order would ultimately be made after consultation with the Madison County Board of Health and discussion with elected leaders.”

“That mandate allows five weeks for schools or businesses or other institutions to work out their plan on what to do in regards to masks,” said State Health Officer Scott Harris. “It is still allowed under Alabama statute to have, under certain situations, to allow cities or municipalities to have mask mandates as they were doing before the statewide mandate back in July. There could be others besides businesses and schools looking to do that.”

When it comes to students in the classrooms, that will be up to local districts. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said he will allow local administrators determine whether to require masks for staff and students.

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