HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — By this time tomorrow the mask mandate will be over in Alabama. However, some stores and restaurants in Madison County will still mask up.
Our WZDX News reporter hears from health leaders and a restaurant owner at Lowe Mill.
"I'm absolutely all on board for keeping everyone safe in the community," says Happy Tummy Owner, Catherine Shearer.
Lowe Mill will still require employees and patrons to wear masks. Huntsville leaders are hoping you will respect the choices businesses decide to make regarding masks.
"Many restaurants, food establishments which will still have masks for a while because folks are trying to get the public's trust back. They're trying to make the public feel safe going out to eat," says City of Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle.
Joining Lowe Mill in keeping masks on will be the city of Huntsville employees.
"The city policy is going to be if you have interaction, our employees are going to be interacting with the public and the public interacting with our employees we would ask that you wear a mask," says Battle.
The number of COVID cases and hospitalizations have remained low.
"County-wide and this includes the Huntsville Hospital Health System and Crestwood, there are 35 inpatients," says Madison County EMA Director, Jeff Birdwell.
Vaccinations are also ramping up. "Our main location is at John Hunt Park, they're very busy over there. Doing about 3,000 vaccines per day, and we plan to almost double that in the coming weeks. We're working with the state to get additional vaccines," says Huntsville Hospital VP of Operations, Tracy Doughty.
However, hospital officials say about fifty thousand people are on the waitlist for vaccinations and county leaders say so far only more than thirty percent of people over the age of sixteen in the county have been vaccinated.
For Shearer, this is all the more reason to mask up. "Until everyone has a chance to get vaccinated, I don't think it's fair to impose that upon others," says Shearer.
Lowe Mill will keep their mask requirement in effect, well they say they're just going to play it by ear.