Jefferson County leaders hear pitch for Countywide face masks

JeffCo face covering order coming?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Wilson is continuing to make a case for a mandatory countywide face covering ordinance.

Dr. Wilson told WBRC FOX6 News he may come with that order later this week.

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens said Dr. Wilson met with various local officials in a zoom meeting. Stephens said 60 mayors and lawmakers took part.

Stephen said Dr. Wilson is going to have to convince them that mandating face masks will make a difference with COVID-19.

People are still wearing face masks in Birmingham. The city has mandated face covering ordnance until July 3.

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens said he needs more information and data that will show face coverings will make a difference in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus.

“Figures that says a mask ordinance will indeed reduce the spike,” Stephens said.

Dr. Wilson appeared before the Jefferson County Mayor’s Association last week, urging their support in the face mask order.

“We are at a place here in the last couple of weeks where it looks like we probably had more virus circulating in the general population than we had since the beginning,” Wilson said.

Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery believes the masks will help reduce the spread, but Lowery questions how can small cities enforce such an order.

“It’s not a practical matter when it comes to enforcing it: You have small police department, you have many businesses, a lot of people at your parks, and a lot of people out in public,” Lowery said.

Stephens said the face mask ordnance could negatively impact other communities.

“You will draw commerce to that - that’s less restrictive and perhaps change trade patterns that will be hard to bring back,” Stephens said.

Stephens said he didn’t hear anything in the presentation to support a countywide face mask order.

WBRC FOX6 News reached out to the the Jefferson County Health Department about any information about the impact of face masks. .

The health department said they are working on those numbers and will not talk about it just yet.

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