BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa is now two weeks into a mandatory face mask ordinance in the city. City councilors hoped it would have an impact on rising COVID-19 cases in this community.
“Well I do think it’s been successful in the sense it’s certainly, by observation, we’re seeing a lot more people wear them,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said Friday.
Maddox noticed more people wearing masks or face coverings since the city council made them mandatory in the city more than two weeks ago. He admitted they don’t have 100 per cent compliance from the public. He felt the more people mask up, the more rising COVID-19 numbers here will slow down.
“If there’s a proven, successful measure that can help mitigate the spread of coronavirus, not eliminate the possibility, but certainly mitigate the possibility, then why not take the responsible route,” Maddox continued.
Any movement up or down when it comes to positive coronavirus cases in Tuscaloosa will impact DCH Regional Medical Center.
“We have been running close to full capacity. But overall, we’ve been able to take care of it. Probably the bigger issue is making sure we have enough staff and the staff isn’t over stressed,” Andy North, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for DCH Health Systems explained.
As of Monday, 80 patients in the DCH are being treated for coronavirus. Twenty-seven of them are in ICU and 9 people are using ventilators to breathe.
Coronavirus is also hurting the city of Tuscaloosa from a manpower standpoint, more than 80 city employees were off the job Friday because of it. It has impacted the environmental services department to the point that curbside recycling pick up is being suspended because trash is piling up and fewer of those workers have been able to collect it. You can still drop off recyclables at designated places around the city.