COVID-19 cases falling, mask mandates dropping in Tuscaloosa
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua
As Tuscaloosa sees a significant drop in positive COVID-19 cases, mask mandates for school systems and colleges are ending.
DCH Health System reported 68 COVID-positive inpatients as of Feb. 15, which is a significant drop from the nearly 200 inpatients earlier in the month.
DCH Marketing and Communications Vice President Andy North said the decrease is good news, but the pandemic isn’t over yet.
“Each (variant) has kind of come as a wave, has come across the rest of the country and the world, really, so I think it’s a little premature to hope that this is the last,” he said. “But I am optimistic that we are on the tail end of this. We’ll see.”
DCH Regional Medical Center is discontinuing its on-site COVID-19 vaccinations Feb. 25 because of a decrease in demand.
As the numbers drop, schools have re-evaluated their masking policies.
Tuscaloosa City Schools returned to masks-optional Monday. Today, the University of Alabama announced masks will no longer be required beginning Feb. 21. Shelton State Community College is ending its mask policy as of 5 p.m. today
MedCenter South Dr. Chris McGee said this is all a step in the right direction.
“I think that the numbers are decreasing so rapidly that I think now it becomes, instead of more mask mandates it becomes more optional,” McGee said. “If you’re uncomfortable, I think you should wear a mask. If you’re concerned at all just wear your mask.”