The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout the state have been increasing at a dangerous rate. We now have over 58,225 cases and approximately 1,183 deaths from COVID-19 in our state. With physicians on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Medical Association of Alabama, the state’s largest professional organization of physicians, announced their support of Governor Kay Ivey’s new amended ‘Safer at Home’ order.
The order states that a face covering must be worn in public. More specifically, it stipulates masks must be worn when within 6 feet of a person from another household. The order will go into effect Thursday, July 16 and will remain in effect until July 31.
“For a contagious respiratory infection for which we have no treatment, masking, isolation and social distancing are our only effective means to slow down the spread of this disease and save lives,” said Dr. Meigs. “Governor Ivey and State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris, are to be commended for having the courage to make this difficult decision and to do what is right, what was needed, in the face of the political pressure against these measures.”
“We want the economy open. We want businesses open. We want schools open. The best way to do this is to wash your hands, socially distance, and wear a mask/face covering over the mouth and nose to lower the spread of droplets that contain the virus,” said Dr. Arora. “The evidence is clear – masks and face coverings significantly reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and we believe that we should take care of ourselves as a responsible community.”
Until we have a vaccine and effective treatments for COVID-19, our only option is to wear a mask, exercise safe social distancing, and wash your hands/use hand sanitizer regularly. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19. We all have the power to protect ourselves, our fellow Alabamians, and the most vulnerable among us. Be informed, stay healthy, and please wear your mask.
John S. Meigs, MD
Medical Association President
Aruna Arora, MD
Medical Association President-Elect