MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- We could be just hours away from a vote that could make masks and face coverings mandatory in the City of Mobile. The city council is set to take up the issue at their meeting on Tuesday.
Source tell FOX10 News the city council is expected to get the five votes needed to pass the mask measure, it just may not happen on Tuesday.
Doctors say medical-grade masks and simple face coverings are important.
“We’ve got a way to go in this and anything we can do for prevention is important and again masking is such an important part of it,” said Dr. Michael Chang, Chief Medical Officer at USA Health.
Dr. Chang is the top doctor at USA Health. He plans to be at the meeting pushing for it to pass.
“If you look at the states that did control this and their rate is coming down it was because they had uniform buy-in or at least widespread buy-in to the safety measures whether they were imposed or whether they were voluntary,” he said.
If Mobile’s mask ordinance is passed it would require everyone two and older to wear a face covering in public.
If you do not there would be a $50 fine for the first offense and a $100 fine if the person keeps doing it.
The Mobile County Health Department said enforcement is why cities are looking to mandate masks, not them.
“The health officer making a recommendation to the city mayors and the city mayors implementing the ordinance because they actually have enforcement authority and the county health department does not,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree, with the Mobile County Health Department.
There are some exemptions to the proposed ordinance for those with breathing issues and if you are outside with social distancing.
Dr. Chang said wearing a mask and social distancing are important first steps.
“You’ve got to walk before you run so let’s do these things first and get 80% of our population doing all those things on a regular basis then we’ll know what the disease transmission is really like,” he said.
Monday afternoon City Councilman John Williams said on a local radio show he would push for the vote to be delayed a week, which would mean the mask mandate could be voted on after the 4th of July.