COVID-19 face mask requirement expiring in Birmingham

Alabama's largest city will let its COVID-19 face mask requirement expire in what officials say is a step toward returning to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Posted: May 24, 2021 3:03 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's largest city will let its COVID-19 face mask requirement expire after Monday in what officials said was a step toward returning to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Begun more than a year ago and most recently extended in early April, before the state dropped its mask requirement, the rule will end at a time when fewer patients are hospitalized with the illness caused by the new coronavirus since early April 2020.

Noticeably more people have worn masks in the city than in outlying areas, and Mayor Randall Woodfin said the end of the requirement was a sign that vaccinations were making a difference.

"I urge everyone to remain vigilant. If you haven’t received the vaccine, please do so. If you have loved ones or friends who have not been vaccinated, help them make an appointment,” he said, according to al.com.

The head of the area chamber of commerce, the Birmingham Business Alliance, said member companies were split over whether the requirement should continue.

“One-third said get rid of it,” Ron Kitchens, chief executive of the organization, told WBRC-TV. “And one-third said let's keep it a little while and one-third said whatever leadership decides, we support.”

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University said that over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Alabama has decreased by 50, a decline of 14.6%.

But there were still about 228 new cases per 100,000 people in Alabama over the period, which ranks fourth nationally per capita. Jefferson County, where Birmingham is, and heavily populated neighboring Shelby County led the state in case increases, the researchers found.

Nearly 37% of the state's residents have received at least one vaccine dose and almost 29% are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins.

City Council President William Parker said anyone who isn't vaccinated needs to continue wearing face masks to prevent another uptick in cases.

“We’re making a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go,” he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 818652

Reported Deaths: 15378
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147091924
Mobile724971336
Madison52231697
Shelby37575349
Baldwin37224549
Tuscaloosa35073612
Montgomery34092739
Lee23519246
Calhoun22221482
Morgan20910378
Etowah19816498
Marshall18338303
Houston17360412
St. Clair16034339
Cullman15406293
Limestone15328199
Elmore15186286
Lauderdale14270295
Talladega13827281
DeKalb12637261
Walker11180370
Blount10179176
Autauga9967148
Jackson9860183
Coffee9205191
Dale8884185
Colbert8840201
Tallapoosa7079198
Escambia6766132
Covington6706183
Chilton6633161
Russell635259
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion4995126
Dallas4949200
Pike4791105
Clarke475484
Geneva4568127
Winston4507103
Lawrence4309117
Bibb424686
Barbour357576
Marengo337890
Monroe331463
Randolph329864
Butler325896
Pickens315682
Henry311966
Hale311188
Cherokee302360
Fayette292379
Washington251351
Cleburne247460
Crenshaw244875
Clay243068
Macon234163
Lamar223347
Conecuh185953
Coosa180040
Lowndes174764
Wilcox168739
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132938
Greene126644
Choctaw88227
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 62°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 61°
Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather