By Zach Hester, Reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo via Consumer Reports)
ALABAMA — At a press conference last week, Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) opted against taking action to enforce masking in the State of Alabama. However, local officials have stepped in to mandate masks on their own.
Four of the five of the state's largest cities — Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa — are now under mask orders with some choosing to enforce the order at the county level.
This week, Madison County, which encompasses the City of Huntsville and its metro area, issued an order to mandate mask wearing for those over the age of 2 in indoor facilities, on public transportation, and in outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible.
"We need to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19," said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. "Until we have a vaccine or treatment...wearing a face covering in public is a key measure we have available to prevent transmission of the virus."
At the time of press, there is no mandatory masking order for DeKalb County.
In a joint statement last week, county officials with the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and DeKalb County Commission encouraged face coverings and social distancing to combat the growing spread of the virus locally.
"We realize people are tired and we all want to get back to a normal state, but we must be vigilant and safe about reopening," said DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow.
According to EMA officials, DeKalb County is one of the fastest-growing positive testing areas in the state.