After enduring the effects of COVID-19 for the past eight months, opinions on Governor Kay Ivey’s decision to extend a mask mandate to Nov. 8 is mixed, according to some Central Alabamians.
On Sept. 30, Alabama’s governor made the executive decision to extend a mask order that was originally set in place in July. This was an attempt to lower COVID rates and keep voting polls safe for the election on Nov. 3, Ivey said.
“We do feel that masks contribute to the mitigation standard, to the reduction of COVID-19,” said Dr. Karen Landers, the Assistant Director at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
However, some Alabamians have opposing thoughts on how officials in Alabama are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, like Deidre Jensen, a resident of Alabaster.
“I don’t feel like the mask mandate is doing anything, she [Kay Ivey] thinks it’s lowering cases, but I don’t think that’s it,” Jensen said.
On the other hand, Priya Patel, a sophomore at UAB who is majoring in digital forensics, does not really have an opinion on how the governor is handling COVID cases.
“I just do what I’m told,” Patel said.
Dr. Landers said the Alabama Department of Public Health is taking a layered approach to decreasing the spread of the virus. By implanting social distancing six feet apart, proper hygiene and the wearing of cloth masks they are hoping to see COVID numbers start to lower, she said.
“I have never had an issue wearing a mask, it’s a piece of fabric,” Sabdi Lopez, a student at Berea College in Kentucky majoring in Spanish, who is currently residing in her hometown of Alabaster due to the pandemic.
Lopez said the mandate should not end in November but last until at least the end of the year.
“It is very necessary,” Lopez said.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has been keeping Ivey up to date with the information and recommendations that they believe are in the best interest of Alabama citizens, Dr. Landers said.
According to Dr. Landers, the department believes this is the best non-pharmaceutical approach to handling the spread of the virus in Alabama.
Edited by Hannah Warren & Ryan Michaels