JEFFERSON Co., Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County’s Public Health Officer welcomes news that Governor Ivey will be extending her mandatory face covering order for another month. Dr. Mark Wilson was among the first to call for mandatory face masks.
Dr. Wilson agrees with Governor Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris the state is not out of the woods just yet. Wilson has recommended that middle and high school age students go virtual for nine weeks and not return the class. The governor feels otherwise.
Governor Kay Ivey felt she had to extend the face covering order until the end of August because of the high spread rate of COVID-19 and a high hospitalization rate across the state. “Hopefully get this virus behind us one day in the rear view mirror and that day can not come soon enough,” Ivey said.
“The governor did the right thing by extending the face covering order. Alabama is not doing well with COVID-19. We need that extra help from the public,” Ivey said.
While supporting Governor Ivey on the face covering extension, Wilson still believes not all students need to return to class for the opening of schools. Governor Ivey said those student need to be there.
“I respect districts that have elected to go to virtual classrooms. I feel with all my heart a slide will come with our kids at home,” Ivey said.
Wilson believes it is important for elementary students to be in classrooms but he fears more of COVID spread with older students. The governors mandatory face masks for students must be enforced for students, teachers and staff.
“If we don’t do everything, again we run the risk of the schools not being able to stay open. So these extra measures, these extra precautions are to make sure our kids stay in school,” Wilson said.
Dr. Wilson said if everyone just obeys the face mask order and social distancing in a few weeks there could make a difference in some of the numbers over COVID-19.