Alabama Residents React To The New Statewide Mask Ordinance
In Alabama, the governor has issued a statewide mask ordinance following Tuesday, July 14, when 40 COVID-19 related deaths were reported, the most coronavirus deaths reported in the state in a single day.
The statewide mask mandate went into effect today at 5pm, requiring each person over the age of 6 to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public spaces.
The mask or facial covering must cover the mouth and nose at all times when a person is within six feet of a person from different household, when in an indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service or an outdoor public space where 10 or more people are gathered.
Those found violating the new order will face the penalty of a $500 fine or jail time.
There are exceptions to the mask mandate. Some of the exceptions are anyone younger than the age of 6, anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents him or her from wearing a facial covering, and anyone consuming food or drink or seated at a restaurant to eat or drink.
Many residents shared that they were glad the new order was issued.
“I’m happy, you know, I never thought that we might have it—I didn’t think it would be as serious as it is now, but this is not a plaything, we are dealing with. We are dealing with life or death, you know,” said Vernon Underwood, glad the mask mandate was issued.
Sharing that they believe it’s necessary, in order to end the pandemic.
“We wouldn’t have as many virus patients in the hospital, you know, I think this is a good idea, you know, they should have been wearing a mask for a long time.,” said Ollie Ridgeway, glad the mask mandate was issued.
“I think its effective, because masks are saving lives with slowing the spread of coronavirus, but I know there are some cons to wearing masks, like you know—the glasses fogging up, you can’t breathe, and a lot of people just don’t want to do that, but I think its certain things that need to happen, just like the ordinance. So, I think it’s pretty effective.,” said Trinity Martinez, glad the mask mandate was issued.
One man shared that he understands why a penalty was set for those in violation of the new mandate.
“If you didn’t have some type of—you know, way to enforce it, people just wouldn’t do it, you know, and I would probably be one of those that just wouldn’t do it, just by forgetting—I wear one all the time at my job, its not that big of a deal for me, but does it help--it sure can’t hurt.,” said Jeff Todd, understanding of the penalty set for the mask ordinance.
The mask ordinance will remain in effect until Friday, July 31, when Governor Ivey’s amended safer at home order is expected to expire.