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Health officials weigh in on mask mandates

COVID-19 minorities

Public health officials in Alabama are offering advice as mask mandates decrease around the country.

The state Department of Public Health says masks are encouraged for individuals unvaccinated or with health concerns. The Centers for Disease control says Alabama falls under the medium category with COVID cases.

Dr. Wes Stubblefield is with ADPH. He said although some Alabama counties are low risk, it’s important to stay safe.

“COVID-19 is still a serious illness. We are still getting reports of deaths across Alabama although our case numbers have dropped and there are people that are at risk for severe disease," he said. "As we move forward in the pandemic what we need to consider is the people’s risks that are around us and our own personal risk that should influence our decisions about how we move back into the society.“

Stubblefield said the CDC map updates weekly.

“The counties in Alabama will be considered either low, medium or high based on a combination of new cases and the burden of hospitalizations in that particular area," he said. "The majority of Alabama based on the CDC’s map is in the medium category, and those levels are updated each Thursday.”

Alabamians can use ADPH’s website to discover local information about COVID-19.

Jolencia Jones is a student interns at Alabama Public Radio. During her first term in the APR newsroom, Jolencia has covered a lecture on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, and the local "Valentines for Veterans" effort, among other stories.
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