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Alabama mask order ends, but some cities, schools continue

Alabama's statewide mask order has ended. But some cities and schools will keep them in place for the time being.

Posted: Apr 10, 2021 8:08 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — With Gov. Kay Ivey advocating personal responsibility and common sense as Alabama's statewide mask order ends Friday after nearly nine months, local governments, school systems and businesses are coming up with their own rules to address the continuing COVID-19 threat.

Two of Alabama's largest cities, including Birmingham and Montgomery, are keeping mask requirements in place.

“We’re doing this because the pandemic still exists and remains a threat. I have been encouraged by many small businesses to extend the mandate beyond the expiration date of the state order," Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said.

Tuscaloosa city schools will continue to require face masks for all students, faculty and staff, spokeswoman Lesley Bruinton told The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa County schools, however, won't require face coverings for workers or its 19,000 students.

Still struggling to treat the large number of COVID-19 patients in and around Cullman County, where mask use is spotty, Cullman Regional Medical Center said it would continue requiring face masks for anyone who enters the hospital. Nine people with COVID-19 were being treated there on Friday, including four in intensive care and three who are on ventilators.

“Although the community spread seems much lower than in previous months, Cullman Regional’s ICU is currently at 136% capacity and we’ve had to create additional overflow areas in order to accommodate all of our critically ill patients,” Dr. William Smith, the chief medical officer, said in a statement. “We must remain cautious in order to protect our patients and staff.”

The Decatur Daily reported that in Lawrence County, commissioners asking all county employees to wear a mask while assisting a citizen who is wearing a mask. Most people won’t cover their faces without the state order, said Commissioner Bobby Burch, “but we need to be respectful to those who wish to continue to wear a mask.”

Beach Jerky Life, a store that caters to tourists in Gulf Shores, will keep safeguards in place while allowing customers to make up their own minds, said operator Michael Stevens.

“We’re going to go ahead and leave our sneeze guards up to protect our staff that’s working here in the store,” Stevens told WALA-TV. “We are going to continue to exercise hand sanitizing and keeping our distance at some degree."

While the state directive to wear masks is ending, state officials are urging people to continue for the sake of others.

Ivey this week said she’ll keep wearing a mask around others after Friday, and urged other Alabamians to do the same. She also urged people to respect businesses who require customers to wear masks.

“We are finally rounding the corner. While we haven’t whipped this deadly disease just yet, it appears that, thank the good Lord we are in the home stretch. Please, please continue to use good common sense and we will see the end of COVID-19 soon,” Ivey said.

More than 518,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Alabama, and more than 10,600 have died. The state has distributed more than 1.9 million vaccine doses yet still ranks last nationally in immunization rate.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Columbus
Cloudy
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Oxford
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Starkville
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Feels Like: 70°
A few showers linger early in the morning. But these should gradually push away from our area, leaving us mostly cloudy and cool through the midday and afternoon hours. Some clearing may occur later in the afternoon, leaving us mostly clear by Thursday morning.
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