Statement from Councilor Hunter Williams in response to the Jefferson County Department of Health’s face covering order

On Friday, the Jefferson County Department of Health issued an order requiring all people over 8 years of age throughout the county to wear face coverings in public spaces. These measures will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 29.

More information on the face covering order can be found at the Jefferson County Department of Health’s website.

Statement from Councilor Hunter Williams, Chair of the Birmingham City Council’s Public Safety Committee, in response to the Jefferson County Department of Health’s order requiring face coverings to be worn in public spaces:

“Wearing a mask or face covering in public spaces is an extremely effective form of preventing viral transmission from yourself to other people. I think the most important thing is for people to practice social distancing and I have a lot of strong feelings about legislating masks and face coverings. I’ve been consistent in voting against it when the issue has come before the Council. I believe that while face coverings are extremely effective, it becomes problematic when they are required by law, especially when you talk about jail time or excessive fines.

“In doing so, the issue has become polarized, not just locally but across the country. We need to be focusing our efforts on educating the public as to why wearing a mask is so vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19, specifically when you are indoors and within close proximity to other people.

“Without a doubt every single study published by the CDC and the World Health Organization has shown a significant decrease in states and countries that have required face coverings in public. Simply put, wearing a mask or face covering is an intentional act of kindness, one that protects your neighbors and loved ones. The more people who understand that and do their part to protect their community, the sooner we can get on the other side of this public health crisis.”

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