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July 15, 2020/ City of Enterprise Press Release
Mayor William E. Cooper and city leaders appeal to everyone in the Enterprise area to follow the state mandate to wear masks in public.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued the mandate Wednesday, citing the rising case numbers and deaths attributed to COVID-19, Coronavirus.
“Do the right thing and wear a mask,” Cooper said, repeating Ivey’s message that every Alabamian should exercise personal responsibility and follow the recommended practices.
“‘Mask Up Enterprise!’ will be the rallying cry for our city while we are battling the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our community,” he said.
The state mandate says “each person shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places: an indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where 10 or more people are gathered.” Exceptions are children under six; anyone with medical conditions or disabilities that prevents them from wearing a mask, anyone while they are eating; anyone getting a service, such as dental work, that cannot be done with a mask on; people who are exercising in a gym setting or playing in an athletic event where a six-foot distance is maintained; and people who must remove the mask to speak to an audience, with a six-foot separation from others; or anyone who must take off the mask for effective communication with individuals who lip-read. An exception also exists when a person is required to remove a mask for identification, security or screening purposes.
To read the Gov. Ivey’s order in its entirety, go to https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/07/Safer-at-Home-Order-Mask-Amendment-7.15.2020-FINAL.pdf
In keeping with the Governor’s mandate, Cooper said city employees will now be required to wear masks inside the building when the proper social distance cannot be sustained.
In addition, anyone entering a city facility for business or visiting an outdoor venue must wear a mask. This will apply to all Parks and Recreation activities as well the Enterprise Farmers Market.
Anyone who is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court beginning Monday, July 20, should also be prepared to wear a mask before entry. City court is being conducted at the Enterprise Civic Center on Highway 167 North until further notice to accommodate proper social distancing.
“We take this situation very seriously, and we want to do our part to prevent anyone else from becoming sick or dying from this unseen enemy that has disrupted our lives,” Cooper said. “To overcome this enemy, we all have to work together, support each other and protect each other.”
COVID-19 has claimed 1,183 lives in the state, including at least four in Coffee County. Alabama has a total of 58,225 cumulative cases since early March, with 18,717 on active status at this time. Coffee County has a cumulative total of 473 cases, according to the latest update from the Alabama Department of Public Health, with 115 active cases.
The county numbers reflect a somewhat dramatic increase of 120 total cases from June 30, and 49 additional active cases in the two-week quarantine period, Cooper said.
“The Governor, as well as our local city and emergency management officials are concerned about impact that the rapid increases in cases will have on hospital capacity,” Cooper said.
Most people will not have symptoms serious enough for hospitalization, but Emergency Management Agency Director James Brown says that increasing case numbers throughout the state have led to more hospitalizations. A number of local and regional hospitals are at or nearing capacity. Cooper and other mayors in the county stay in close contact with Brown and the Coffee County EMA as they monitor the health crisis.
“We are considering alternate care locations in the event that our local and area hospitals reach capacity levels,” Cooper assured.
Cooper said it is more important than ever that residents follow the safety practices that the ADPH and the Center for Disease Control, federal, state and local authorities have been recommending for months.
“We have been following the guidance of the ADPH and CDC as we’ve made decisions here in Enterprise and we believe this mandate is what’s best for our citizens at this time,” Cooper said. “Of course, safety is always a top priority for us.”
Two weeks ago, the ADPH also unveiled a new risk alert indicator. Based on several factors, the ADPH assigns each Alabama county a category, starting with Low, Moderate, High and Very High.
Coffee County was placed in the High-Risk category to begin with but late last week was move up in to the Very High Risk category.
“This means we have got to follow all those safety measures - wearing masks, maintaining social distance, washing hands. This virus is scary and it’s something that no one should take lightly,” the Mayor said.
“But at the same time, let’s not panic. Let’s just take personal responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe so eventually we can stop this sickness and get back to our normal lives. Our goal is to see those daily rates dropping every day. We want to work toward dropping in the risk categories until we have defeated this enemy.”