MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- The clock is ticking for Governor Kay Ivey to decide whether masks will be mandatory in Alabama past Friday.
Doctors we spoke with still think they are necessary.
“If you cancel the mask mandate, disease will increase,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, President of the Alabama Hospital Association.
For the past 2.5 months, a mask has been mandatory in Alabama.
“If a therapy is working in a patient that’s not an indication to change the therapy,” Dr. Williamson said. “In this case, the mask order is working in Alabama it’s not a reason to change.”
Since the mask mandate was issued on July 15th, cases have dropped statewide. In Mobile County, the health department says new cases were cut by half two weeks after the initial order.
“That was the significant thing that changed and not just with the case numbers did we see that, but we saw that with hospitalization numbers as well,” said Dr. Laura Cepeda, the Mobile County Health Department Chief Medical Officer.
Governor Kay Ivey has not outright announced her plan going forward. Last Friday on Alabama Public Television, she may have hinted at her plans.
“I don’t like the mask, either. My glasses fog up, it’s a pain in the rear, but at the same time it’s working and what’s working we need to stick with,” Governor Ivey said.
While no doctor can say for certain the drop in cases is because of mask wearing, they say it is likely.
The expectation is masks could be required until the end of the year.
‘The virus is still out there, it hasn’t gone away,” Dr. Williamson said. “We’re simply doing a better job now living with it.”
The governor’s office says an announcement will come Wednesday or Thursday.