Calhoun County reacts to Gov. Ivey’s statewide mask order

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CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Calhoun County will soon be a part of a statewide order through Gov. Kay Ivey’s office requiring face coverings to be worn in public.

Although the county is considered high risk, for some including the city of Anniston, Ward 3 Councilman Ben Little said he opposes the measure.

 “You had AIDS pandemic, no one was forced to take an AIDS test, you had the flu itself, you can’t make anyone mandatorily take a flu shot,” Little said.

Little said many communities like Anniston do not have the manpower to enforce mandatory face coverings.

“We have an ordinance against fireworks and they are popping all over the place, you can’t enforce that. We have an ordinance against the boom box boom boom, can’t enforce that, so here you have another something that our law enforcement can’t enforce again,” he said.

The Calhoun County Emergency Agency reports that as of Tuesday, the county had 577 total cases of COVID-19. In the last 2 weeks, 308 of those cases were reported as well as 26 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and six deaths.

“Try to respond in those communities with education, information, with good access to testing as well as making sure we have the capacity within care for the hospitals,” Calhoun County EMA director Michael Barton said. 

Barton said Calhoun County’s Unified Command has recommended face coverings be worn in public since the pandemic began, so Gov. Ivey’s measure is just another addition.

“I think it has raised awareness – obviously that’s the discussion in the community – so many people may follow that now because she has made it now very public,” he said.

For Patrick Wigley of Wigs Wheels Bike Shop, he and all of his staff will now wear face coverings.

 “If we are being told we have to do it from the level that we are being told to do it, then certainly we can conform. I’m not going to turn away a customer necessarily if they choose not to wear one that’s not necessarily for me to do I don’t think,” Wigley said.


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