BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Nursing Home Association and the Alabama Hospital Association released a joint statement today asking people to keep wearing masks after the mandate ends.
Nursing home residents and hospital patients are among the most vulnerable populations and until there are more people vaccinated they’re still at risk.
The two associations banded together to ask people in the public to continue wearing masks to make sure nursing homes and hospitals stay on their current trajectory. According to AARP, 174,000 people have died in nursing homes due to COVID-19 over the course of the last year. While healthcare workers and nursing home patients were among the first eligible for vaccines, they are not mandatory for either in Alabama, so there will be inherent risk still in nursing homes.
“We don’t want to see that momentum slow down and we think if the public wears masks on a voluntary basis this can help us continue to suppress COVID until there is a mass uptake of vaccinations and hopefully we put COVID behind us for good,” said John Matson, spokesperson for ANHA.