Is Alabama’s face mask mandate working?

Why COVID cases increase with mask mandate

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With an explosion of COVID 19 cases around the country, some states still don’t have mask mandates. Alabama does, but cases continue to rise.

When Governor Ivey first implemented the face covering order earlier this year, health leaders will tell you it worked and the number of positive coronavirus cases came down. But, months later those numbers are going up, making fears of overwhelmed hospitals more and more real.

Alabama is averaging more than 2,000 cases a day over the last seven days .

“I’m worried where we are going to be a month from now? I’m worried where we are going to be a week from now? The biggest issue is going to be our hospitals and are they going to be able to take care of everyone?” Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.

So why aren’t more people following the mask mandate?

“People are exhausted from the same message. They are exhausted from hearing this. They are exhausted from having to do this,” Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Health said.

Dr. Landers said the masks alone will not slow the spread. It will take working in conjunction with social distancing and hygiene. Still others believe people are making false assumptions.

“People are feeling comfortable with people they know. They have friends. They have family members who don’t live in their household, getting together in a group and they say I know you. I’m not going to wear a mask,” Willeford said.

Still people can help get the word out about wearing face masks.

“When you are out at the store and you got your mask on but somebody else doesn’t have their mask on. It’s no big deal to ask them to put their mask on. They are protecting themselves and protecting you,” Sue Feldman with UAB Schools of Health Professions and Medicine said.

Dr. Willeford said this infectious disease is spreading in small groups and a lot of time its when someone is showing no symptoms. He suggests ask yourself do you need to be at a gathering where you can get it or spread it someone else

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