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Madison Co. leaders discuss possibility of rolling back openings as coronavirus cases rise

Leaders said they'll watch to see if the masking orders helps flatten the curve.

Posted: Jul 17, 2020 7:57 PM

WAAY 31 asked community leaders in Madison County on Friday where they stand on rolling back openings as the number of coronavirus cases are rising.

Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County Health Officer Karen Landers both said they are waiting to see the impact of the masking order before deciding on any rollbacks.

"We do know right now our measures from the Governor's office and the State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris are really designed to keep the economy open and keep businesses operating," Landers said.

Both said they don't think closing the economy is the right option.

"We're following our advice of the Madison County Board of Health, Huntsville Hospital, Crestwood Hospital, Alabama Department of Public Health. There's probably over a 1,000 medical physicians in this area and each one is going to have a different take on this, going to have a different focus on this," Battle said.

Both said they hope the statewide masking order is enough to stop the spread of coronavirus throughout Alabama.

But for the past two weeks, Dr. Ali Hassoun, Huntsville Hospital's Director of Infectious Disease, told us it’s not.

'The state governor, state health officer really going to need to think about the lockdown. I really think that need to be done now," he said.

Landers doesn't agree.

"When we as physicians look at this situation sometimes we are at different positions on the spectrum," she said.

Battle said he's optimistic the masking order will work, but said if the curve isn't flattened, some rollbacks are the next step.

"Plan B will include some curtailment. We will keep the economy open. That's a definite. I don't think anyone would suggest going back and closing the economy totally. The way it was done the first time. I think there are some other moves that can be made, may have to be made unless we see the results we are looking for," he said.

Battle did not go into deal about what those rollbacks could look like. Landers said Governor Kay Ivey reserves the right to also put roll backs in place over the next few weeks if she finds them necessary.

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