Shoals mayors discuss enforcement of mandatory mask order

The mask order goes into effect July 16th.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 5:10 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2020 9:03 PM

Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a mandatory mask order across the state.

Alabama's coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise rapidly and have risen the highest over the last two weeks according to the state.

There are some exceptions to wearing a mask in public. For instance, a child under the age of six doesn't have to wear a mask in public, if your speaking to an audience you don't have to wear a mask, if your working out you don't have to wear a mask as long as your socially distanced. Other exceptions are listed here.

"There are some other more restrictive options we could take like closing things back down but I don't want to go there unless there are absolutely no other options available," said Ivey.

Ivey made it clear that this statewide mask ordinance is a must-have to protect public safety and the economy.

"To keep our businesses open and our economy on the way to recovery it's vitally important that our people continue to earn a paycheck. You cannot work if you are not healthy," said Ivey.

Businesses can refuse access to people who try to come in without a mask. You can also face a $500 fine and jail time.

"We are not asking our sheriffs and police officers to go out looking for people who aren't wearing a mask and arrest them but we are asking everyone to a better job social distancing, personal hygiene, and now face masks," said Ivey.

State health officer Scott Harris said with no vaccine or treatment and ICU beds filling up, this is one of the only options to save lives.

"People will certainly be upset about being told to do anything but this is a health order that protects the people around you and keeps other people safe," said Harris.

The mask order officially starts July 16th at 5 pm and lasts until July 31st, when the current safer at home order expires. The governor said she maintains the right to extend the mask order if coronavirus cases continue to climb.

Florence Mayor Steve Holt, and Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford said their first focus is equipping police officers with educational tools on the ordinance and possibly masks to give people breaking the ordinance.

"If an officer walks up to someone who doesn't have on a mask and asks them to please put on a mask and that person says I don't have a mask then were going to be in the position of providing a mask," said Holt.

Holt told me his officers have a good supply of masks and are looking at ordering more to put in patrol officers cars.

"That's another expense and another responsibility for an officer to have some in his or her vehicle," said Holt.

Mayors in the Shoals, including Holt, worry it will be hard to enforce the ordinance.

"We have officer turn over so always per shift were short a couple of officers and to put this on top of them will be virtually impossible to enforce," said Holt.

He's still holding out hopes that people will do the right thing and be cool with wearing the masks.

"Is it going to be that tough? I hope not. This is a chance to exercise not only your self control but your self respect," said Holt.

Despite the city of Florence not issuing a mask order, Holt said he agrees with the governors mask order.

"It was a good decision on her part and I'm glad she didn't make the move to close down our businesses because we cannot go through that again," said Holt.

Some people in Florence said the mask ordinance should have been done a long time ago. No city council's in the Shoals issued any mask ordinances prior to the mask order.

"It should have been done several months ago we would have a lot less virus going around. People don't care unless they are mandated to do something and still some will decline it and not do it," said Florence citizen, Ralph Latham.

The mayors in Sheffield (Ian Sanford), Tuscumbia (Kerry Underwood), and Muscle Shoals all shared concerns over stretching police departments thin in trying to enforce the mask order, and they have concerns people could become confrontational if asked to wear a mask.

Russellville Mayor David Grissom said he hopes the governor's mask ordinance shows people how seriously they must take coronavirus.

Huntsville
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Florence
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
Fayetteville
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Decatur
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
Scottsboro
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 58°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

 

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531094

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765441522
Mobile40979804
Madison34763503
Tuscaloosa25781452
Montgomery24331589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21135308
Lee15886171
Calhoun14505314
Morgan14300279
Etowah13834353
Marshall12222223
Houston10571281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9964151
Cullman9670193
St. Clair9657243
Lauderdale9428241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8223176
Walker7236277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6813112
Blount6661137
Colbert6301134
Coffee5512119
Dale4831111
Russell441238
Chilton4294112
Franklin425682
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4029152
Escambia393476
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3119101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva250077
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212462
Henry188744
Cherokee184945
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159250
Clay156256
Crenshaw152357
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 854360

Reported Deaths: 12276
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby959681622
Davidson89465938
Knox50796635
Hamilton44378495
Rutherford43100435
Williamson28040217
Sumner24052349
Montgomery20315227
Wilson18838235
Out of TN1842298
Unassigned17005134
Sullivan16846295
Blount15513193
Bradley15062150
Washington14623245
Maury13517172
Sevier13408175
Putnam11398175
Madison11185242
Robertson9768131
Anderson8768172
Hamblen8616173
Greene7889156
Tipton7371102
Coffee6911122
Dickson6841112
Cumberland6748133
Carter6639158
Gibson6533146
McMinn651898
Bedford6512129
Roane6302105
Jefferson6222124
Loudon614069
Hawkins6110107
Lawrence595387
Monroe585595
Warren554681
Dyer5429106
Franklin515490
Fayette509076
Cheatham455856
Obion454196
Cocke451199
Lincoln436663
Rhea435375
Marshall419958
Campbell415763
Weakley414765
Giles3999100
Henderson379576
White366070
Carroll362283
Macon362278
Hardin357868
Hardeman352964
Lauderdale319644
Henry319376
Claiborne318173
Scott313645
Marion312847
Overton301661
Wayne296234
Hickman284446
McNairy282554
DeKalb280354
Smith277939
Haywood271462
Grainger263050
Morgan250239
Trousdale250222
Fentress242347
Johnson240939
Chester214851
Bledsoe214611
Polk208224
Unicoi204249
Crockett203248
Cannon192331
Union190734
Humphreys180327
Grundy179334
Lake170426
Sequatchie170229
Benton166740
Decatur158939
Lewis158226
Meigs139025
Stewart132528
Jackson132336
Clay110331
Houston109533
Perry106728
Moore101217
Van Buren84823
Pickett76024
Hancock59112

Community Events