A Message from Mayor Stimpson - June 30
Jun 30th, 2020
It is 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 and I am writing to give you an update on the City of Mobile's efforts regarding COVID-19.
Today, we participated in a lengthy meeting of the Mobile City Council to discuss an ordinance that would require the use of face coverings in the City of Mobile.
There were numerous speakers who came to express support for the proposal, including chief medical officers and doctors from Mobile's four local hospitals, as well as the Medical Society of Mobile and the Mobile County Health Department.
There also were numerous speakers who came to express their opposition, primarily because they view the order as a violation of civil liberties. After listening to both sides, the council ultimately decided to delay a vote until a special, called meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m.
In listening to the speakers, and in reading your responses via email, we have identified several ways we can make improvements to the ordinance. For example, we are looking at options for a "sunset" date and taking a closer look at the penalties for violating the order.
We will work with the council to make those changes prior to the meeting tomorrow. As I said at the meeting today - our goal is not to write tickets, but to convince more citizens to use masks when around others in public places.
As we've all seen, there are too many instances of people disregarding the CDC guidelines, and as a result we are exposing too many of our citizens to the virus. This is the problem we are trying to solve.
Today, we set a new, single day record for new cases in Mobile County with 118 confirmed positive tests. In the last week, we've had four days with the number of new cases above 100.
The good news is that hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing as quickly as the case count. To date, we have a total of 297 who have been hospitalized and 136 who have died. But health experts warn that we may see an increase in those figures next week, if those currently diagnosed begin to develop severe symptoms.
This data, and the urging of our health care leaders, is what is driving the push for a mask ordinance.
Also today, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she is extending her statewide "safer at home" order until July 31. The current order was set to expire on July 3.
The order requires entertainment venues, gyms, childcare facilities and close-contact service providers such as salons and barber shops to follow social distancing guidelines and sanitation rules and, in most cases, wear masks. Retail stores may open with 50% occupancy rate.
Statewide, Alabama has reported 406,143 coronavirus tests with 111,753 coming in the last two weeks. Of the tests conducted in the last 14 days, 10,715 were positive.
Please continue to take this virus seriously. We have opened up the city for business, but it's too soon to let our guard down. While none of us likes the idea of wearing a mask or keeping a distance from your friends, these simple steps will help stop the spread of COVID.
If not for yourself, do it to protect the more vulnerable people around you who are at greater risk for severe illness. If we take care of each other, we will take care of COVID in Mobile.