Alabama businesses want help with face mask recommendations

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The CDC is now recommending vaccinated people wear face coverings in public, indoors or around a crowd of people. A Birmingham businesswoman doesn’t think it’s fair to try to enforce new face mask recommendations without some sort of mandate from the state, county or city.

Queen’s Park bar in downtown Birmingham struggled during the height of the pandemic, but now profits and customers are coming back. But, owner Laura Newman doesn’t think it’s fair for businesses to try enforce the latest recommendation from the CDC; that vaccinated people need to wear face masks.

“They did it in 2020 and they are doing it again. The government is passing the buck and forcing small businesses, without any support mind you, to enforce mandates the government should be enforcing,” Newman said.

At this point, neither Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Department of Public Health or even the Jefferson County Department of Health have set any mandates for facemask enforcements.

Newman said it has been difficult on her employees and other hospitality operations workers, to try to get people to wear face masks.

“Employees getting screamed at or even assaulted; physically assaulted. People wonder why there is a hiring shortage in the hospitality sector. People don’t want to get screamed at anymore,” Newman said.

Newman said she can understand if some worry about the repercussions of facemask mandates considering the mandates state had in the early part of the year. Some health leaders understand the frustration.

“I understand why businesses would like some back up,” Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said. But he says people should really just be responsible for themselves.

“The burden is on me. I need to wear a mask,” he said.

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