Several states across the country have seen a surge in reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases over the past few weeks. On Thursday, June 25, the United States set a new single-day record for new coronavirus cases, with state health departments reporting 39,327 cases. Over the past week, Alabama has seen the most troubling numbers to date. The Alabama Department of Health (ADPH) reported 1,129 new cases that same day, setting a record for the highest number of new cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began.
Infections and hospitalizations are rising across the state and continue to remain a threat to the health of all Alabamians. State public health officials have recently spoken out regarding the importance of wearing facial coverings or masks. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “We simply aren’t headed the right way in Alabama … the bottom line is masks do prevent infections and masks do save lives.” Dr. Scott Harris along with ADPH highly encourage all individuals to wear some type of facial covering when necessary.
Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, pleaded for Alabamians to wear masks and demonstrate proper social distancing practices if they must be out in public. “What I would plead for is a change in people’s behavior with a realization that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something,” Williamson said.
The current Safer at Home public health order is set to expire on July 3. As Alabama has already eased restrictions allowing the reopening of several businesses and venues, each Alabamian should practice personal responsibility in order to slow the spread of coronavirus across the state. It is up to each of us to protect those in our communities. I urge Alabamians to abide by official guidelines and direction, including those suggested by ADPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Let’s put forth our best effort to protect this beloved state and all of us who call it home.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.