MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Gov. Kay Ivey extended the statewide mask mandate, for what she says is the final time. The mandate is extended five weeks to April 9.
Many we spoke with today say they are pleased with the extension.
“I think it’s a responsible move,” Cherie Warren said.
Ivey says masks have been working, and we are moving in the right direction with the number of cases. In fact, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the state have all gone down.
“Folks, we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer,” Ivey said.
And because there is still room to improve, she decided to extend the mask mandate once more. She explained, “We need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot.”
We spoke with some people in downtown Mobile Thursday after the announcement was made. Some, who didn’t want to speak with us on camera, say they are fed up with the masks and think the governor should have ended the mandate.
Others, agree with the governor’s decision. “I really think it’s going to maybe help curb things sooner if we keep the mask mandate, I don’t really think it’s hurting anyone. So I support the mask mandate staying longer,” Kaitlyn Read said.
“In five weeks, Mobile will really be better prepared as far as our vaccinations,” Warren said.
Some even thought the mandate should be extended past April. “That’s a good thing. It actually should be extended until everybody’s had the vaccine,” Cebrum Watkins said.
After five weeks, Ivey says it will be up to personal responsibility, and businesses to decide what they’ll do with their own safety requirements.
“We want to keep our employees and our guests safe as can be. We’re going to react to the circumstances as we encounter them, and we’re all hoping that we’re in a different place 30 days from now,” said David Rasp, the owner of Heroes.
Many say they will continue to wear their masks even after the mandate expires.
“I just think it’s a really good way to be respectful of everyone else and to get our numbers down,” Read said.
We also asked the Mobile County Health Department about the possibility for a local mask order, they say it will be unlikely there will be any at this point in the game. But, they explained they will continue to “strongly advocate” prevention measures, like wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying home if sick, and social distancing.