JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A new face covering order will take effect starting Monday at 5 p.m. in Jefferson County, and local leaders have some strong opinions about it.
Birmingham City Councilman, John Hilliard, said this order is long overdue, and he’s excited that measure has been taken.
Health experts have been beating the drum for several months now about the importance of wearing face coverings during this pandemic to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
And while some may be experiencing COVID-19 fatigue, local leaders believe it’s what we must do to get those numbers to come down.
“All citizens should know that this is an urgent, urgent, very urgent need for our entire city,” Councilman Hilliard.
“I’ve advocated for a shutdown as well as going to this level a long time ago. So, I’m happy to see this happening and I think that for the safety of all of us and all of our districts this is something that needs to happen,” Hilliard said.
“I have a lot of strong feelings about legislating masks or face coverings,” said Councilman Hunter Williams.
“I’ve been pretty consistent in voting against it because I believe that while they are extremely effective, I do think that it is a little bit of a government overreach especially when you’re talking about jail time and excessive fines for segments of the population where it might be used as a probable cause to stop somebody, but I do want to stress the importance of wearing a face mask,” Williams.
Councilman Hilliard said it’s up to us to self-police and remind each other of the importance of wearing facial coverings.
He said the county health department does have enforcement powers. However, there’s no enforcement or penalties included in the new order.