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: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540083

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798481529
Mobile41283809
Madison35157506
Tuscaloosa25925455
Shelby25302249
Montgomery24723593
Baldwin21411310
Lee15993172
Calhoun14574319
Morgan14425280
Etowah13925353
Marshall12280225
Houston10648282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10070151
St. Clair9948245
Cullman9768194
Lauderdale9460243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8341176
Walker7261278
Autauga7005108
Jackson6840112
Blount6773139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5581118
Dale4877113
Russell445738
Chilton4373113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394877
Chambers3596123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303098
Winston275873
Bibb264764
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219169
Fayette212862
Henry189943
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178141
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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