Huntsville doctor believes Alabama's mask mandate should stay in effect

The mandate is set to expire Friday.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 9:09 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 9:09 PM

Alabama could be the next state to lift its mask mandate.

It is set to expire Friday. On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey will give an update regarding the state's health order.

However, health officials are warning it is too soon to lift the order.

"It certainly makes us very uncomfortable," Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Hafsa Siddiqui said. "We fear what's going to happen if we are going to have another spike."

Siddiqui said it is too soon to ease up on coronavirus restrictions, especially since not enough people in our state are vaccinated.

"If two people, if everyone is vaccinated in the room, everyone has protection, you don't need to wear a mask," Siddiqui said. "Right now, the mask we're mandating or trying to say to keep doing it, because we don't have the population around more than 70 to 80 percent vaccinated."

She adds, even though you are vaccinated, it does not mean you can't contract coronavirus. You may just not show any symptoms. Therefore, wearing a mask would be more about protecting those around you.

"Because of my immunity, I won't develop any symptoms, but I may be carrying the virus, and I can give it to somebody who does not have immunity, who hasn't received the vaccine yet," Siddiqui said.

Coronavirus variants are also a cause for concern. Right now, Alabama has 37 confirmed cases of the variant believed to have originated in the U.K.

"New and newer strains are emerging, so there are also concerns that those new strains may not be covered by the current vaccine, may not be covered by the antibody treatment that we have," Siddiqui said.

Even if the governor decides to lift the mask mandate, Siddiqui said that does not mean Alabamians have to become less cautious.

"We form communities by individuals, so if individuals are working, are taking the right step, then we should be okay. Nobody's going to force us not to wear a mask, right?" Siddiqui said.

Gov. Kay Ivey's news conference is at 11 a.m. Thursday. WAAY 31 will carry it live on air and online.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522131

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754831494
Mobile39111799
Madison34084500
Tuscaloosa25396444
Montgomery24037573
Shelby23210242
Baldwin20714302
Lee15614166
Calhoun14350311
Morgan14164273
Etowah13696348
Marshall12007220
Houston10408279
Elmore10018203
Limestone9858148
Cullman9507191
St. Clair9478236
Lauderdale9271233
DeKalb8760183
Talladega8122173
Walker7146276
Autauga6760106
Jackson6760110
Blount6529133
Colbert6234132
Coffee5431113
Dale4779111
Russell430939
Franklin420982
Chilton4114110
Covington4068115
Tallapoosa3915148
Escambia390374
Dallas3525150
Chambers3516122
Clarke347260
Marion3072100
Pike306576
Lawrence296295
Winston273272
Bibb256361
Marengo248461
Geneva246275
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213168
Fayette209460
Henry188144
Cherokee182744
Randolph177241
Monroe172740
Washington165338
Macon156148
Clay150155
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock121940
Conecuh109528
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 830484

Reported Deaths: 12049
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby927281585
Davidson87309923
Knox49411623
Hamilton43254481
Rutherford41816420
Williamson27237214
Sumner23155339
Montgomery19075224
Wilson17979224
Out of TN1794598
Unassigned16655134
Sullivan16096287
Blount14963194
Bradley14518147
Washington14129242
Sevier13116174
Maury13021168
Putnam11155173
Madison10771240
Robertson9567127
Anderson8599171
Hamblen8478170
Greene7715152
Tipton7216102
Coffee6824121
Dickson6724109
Cumberland6555127
Carter6443156
Bedford6409127
Gibson6387144
McMinn634295
Roane6174102
Jefferson6061121
Loudon601169
Lawrence578686
Hawkins5766106
Monroe570295
Warren550881
Dyer5357104
Franklin508388
Fayette490377
Obion449996
Cocke442998
Cheatham442254
Rhea430375
Lincoln429563
Marshall410358
Campbell408462
Weakley401962
Giles393998
Henderson372475
Macon357376
Carroll357182
White353968
Hardin349166
Hardeman345863
Lauderdale314244
Henry311875
Marion308346
Claiborne305573
Scott305145
Overton296360
Wayne294234
Hickman279645
McNairy276754
DeKalb274953
Smith273938
Haywood268161
Grainger258449
Trousdale248722
Morgan245539
Fentress238046
Johnson230238
Bledsoe209411
Chester209351
Crockett200948
Polk199024
Unicoi194149
Cannon188831
Union185634
Grundy177232
Humphreys173621
Lake169526
Sequatchie166428
Benton162940
Decatur157338
Lewis155726
Meigs134123
Stewart130028
Jackson129635
Clay109031
Houston108333
Perry105728
Moore99717
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54712

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