Pass a citywide mask ordinance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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The Tuscaloosa City Council has said they are giving citizens a week to share their thoughts about an ordinance that would require masks in public spaces in Tuscaloosa. A public mask ordinance that requires masks in indoor public spaces, businesses, and any outdoor space where citizens cannot maintain six feet of social distance must be passed. The CDC recommends wearing masks in public spaces where social distance can be maintained and studies have found that widespread mask wearing can control spread of the virus. Wearing masks will help us get back to "normal."

Alabama is a COVID-19 hotspot. Tuscaloosa County has seen cases multiply at an alarming rate. There have been 259 new cases in the last two weeks. The number of cases is doubling every 30 days. Hospital beds and ICU beds at DCH have filled up and come close to capacity multiple times. Tuscaloosa has teetered on the edge of a public health crisis while business and citizens are opening and moving about.

The brunt of COVID19 is not evenly distributed in Alabama or Tuscaloosa. Report after report shows that African Americans in Alabama are contracting and dying from the disease at higher rates. If the virus continues to spread and generates a massive crisis in the hospitals and communities in the city, it will be most destructive to the city's black community. 

As we get closer to the fall, the return of school, and the return of university students, it is imperative that the City Council take immediate action. If we want to get through this pandemic we will have to do it with masks on. Require masks in public and keep our city safe.