No mandatory mask ordinances on tap in any Shoals cities

Mayors in the Shoals WAAY31 spoke with all agree it's up to an individual.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 7:34 PM

WAA Y31 has spent the week asking leaders across North Alabama what it would take to put mandatory masking policies in place.

Health experts recommend everyone wear a mask to slow coronavirus, but no one in North Alabama is forced to wear one.

Mayors in the Shoals told WAAY 31 making a mandatory mask order for their cities wouldn't be feasible to enforce.

"My message is masks are recommended but not required," said Florence Mayor, Steve Holt.

Holt said with 90 to 100 police officers working three shifts enforcing a mask ordinance isn't doable.

"It would detract our entire police force in trying to see if you have a mask on rather than the other issues of the day," said Holt.

Holt said wearing a mask is a personal choice. Tuscumbia Mayor Kerry Underwood agrees.

"Mandating something like that what you wear when your outside your own home feels like an over reach of what my role and responsibility as a mayor is," said Underwood.

Underwood left his mask in his truck for this interview. He admits the mask debate is tough.

"This is an issue I struggle with internally because I have people I know who are susceptible, including my parents because of their age, and so for them I want to be safe and protected and I want people to behave as they should to protect those people around them," said Underwood.

Alabama set a record with more than 1,000 reported new cases on Thursday. Twenty-one of them are in the Shoals.

For health care officials masks are a must.

"While we see more activity in the community we really think the lack of masking the lack of face covering is what's attributing to the higher numbers rather than the pier activity," said Kyle Buchanan, President of Helen Keller Hospital.

Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford said he wouldn't be opposed to a mask order if all four cities (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) agreed to it because that would make it easier to enforce.

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Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
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Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
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Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
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Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
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Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 46890

Reported Deaths: 620
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby10765195
Davidson10125115
Rutherford273335
Hamilton257730
Sumner150752
Trousdale14905
Williamson114814
Knox10225
Out of TN10098
Wilson85917
Putnam8147
Robertson80111
Sevier7333
Lake6900
Tipton6205
Bledsoe6181
Bradley6043
Bedford5205
Unassigned5161
Montgomery5137
Macon4213
Hardeman3143
Maury3113
Fayette3012
Hamblen2964
Rhea2740
Loudon2711
Madison2642
Dyer2321
Cheatham2201
McMinn21817
Blount2053
Dickson1940
Cumberland1744
Lawrence1435
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Monroe1365
Washington1340
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Coffee1150
Gibson1101
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Anderson1052
Hardin1037
Smith1031
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Marshall741
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Hawkins552
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Roane500
Henry420
Campbell411
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Decatur210
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Clay160
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Moore100
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Pickett60
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