BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - While in Auburn on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx - the head of President Trump’s coronavirus task force - said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey should extend the state’s face covering order.
The order is currently set to expire on October 2 at 5 p.m.
Health leaders in Alabama and even across the country say face masks work.
While some doctors questioned the use of face coverings at first during the early stages of the pandemic, most health leaders now say face masks help to stop the spread of the infectious disease.
So far, Governor Ivey has already extended the face covering mandate once to October 2. When Ivey issued the original order back in early August, the state of Alabama was seeing a large jump in COVID cases, but that soon changed.
“That was around our worst time when we’re seeing a lot of COVID cases. All of the case numbers did go down. I think you have to say the masks certainly helped with that. I think that is one of the best public health measures we have at our disposal at the moment,” Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.
The final decision over any extension will be left up to Governor Ivey and her talks with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Willeford said if the governor doesn’t extend the order, Jefferson County Public Health Officer Mark Wilson will decide if he needs to make such an order just for Jefferson County. Under state law, Wilson has the authority to go another direction than the rest of the state.