Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry: ‘We are not actively enforcing the mask order’

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Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry (Cullman Tribune file photo)
CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry on Friday issued the following statement regarding Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s two-week mandatory mask ordinance, issued Wednesday in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Alabama: 
 
“We are not actively enforcing the mask order.
 
“We are following Governor’s order as contained in her quote: ‘We are not asking the Sheriffs or Police Officers to seek out people without a face mask, that is not the goal. The goal is just to emphasize the importance of wearing a face mask, we simply want to inform people. It’s not our desire to give them a fine or anything if we can help it.’
 
“We ask that everyone respect a business or store’s requirements to wear a mask if a businesses ask them to.”
 
Meanwhile, Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, in his weekly COVID-19 update, said, “I am no medical expert. I am no scientific expert. Nor, am I a legal expert, let alone specialized in Constitutional law. However, I am a man who loves his God, his country, and his family, and if I were asked to do something that did not jeopardize any of those three to help others and stop a common enemy, I would not think twice. We cannot afford to waste time arguing over the science, drumming up conspiracy theories, and making things political; the time to act is upon us.”
 
Alabama added 1,953 news cases of COVID-19 Thursday, and 32 deaths. Cullman County saw 31 new cases and one additional death.
 
Wednesday, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said one-third of Alabama’s COVID-19 cases were added in the last two weeks and that the state’s case fatality rate is about 2%.
 
“That’s not a reflection of testing,” he said, “because our percentage of tests that are positive continues to go up. The most recent complete data leading up to the 4th of July showed about 14% of all tests were positive. It’s still preliminary, but the numbers we’ll release for this past week are going to be between 16-17%.”
 
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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com