Alabama state health officer believes mask mandate is working

Alabama sees decline in daily average of new COVID-19 cases

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama has seen a decline in the daily average of new coronavirus cases over the last week.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris believes the mask mandate is working but says we are not out of the woods yet.

“We’re still running levels much higher than we were seeing two or three months ago,” Harris said.

As schools across the state make plans to bring students back to the classroom, Harris says he’s concerned about what’s to come.

“I think every person involved in this discussion agrees on two things - one is that it’s better for kids to be in school, if you can get them in school. And also, the more people you have out and about, the more disease transmission you’re going to get,” Harris said.

Harris says health and education leaders are doing their best to weigh the pros and cons.

In March, the state shut down schools to slow the spread of the virus. When asked if that could happen again, this is how Harris responded:

“It’s hard to predict the future. I mean, I guess we can imagine some catastrophic situation where the state steps in to do that statewide. But, generally speaking, I think it’s much more likely to have a scenario where you have particular outbreaks in particular communities that affect a certain school or certain school system,” Harris said.

As school starts, so do sporting events.

Harris says guidelines for schools to follow are set out in the safer at home order.

He says he does have concerns about spectators, and while we can make events safer, there’s no way to make them completely safe.

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