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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- An unpublished document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends that 18 states in the coronavirus “red zone” for cases should roll back reopening measures. Alabama is one of the 18 states despite businesses taking several safety precautions to remain open.

“I work at a bar in town and I always wear my mask. Any time I touch a debit card or money I always use hand sanitizer. I mean, I’m worried about the safety of the patrons at the bar I work at and also myself and my coworkers,” says Alan Smithee.

The COVID-19 case count is rising in Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey issued a state-wide masking order.
Alan Smithee is a bartender and says he is skeptical that the mask order will work to lower COVID-19 cases.

“The way that a lot of the bars have been handling it I don’t think it’s safe. Bars should be shut back down,” says Smithee.

Medical professionals say going to restaurants and bars is a risky activity for patrons.

“Socialization is occurring usually side by side and you take your masks off to eat or drink and have conversation and it’s no wonder the virus is finding a foothold on our younger population here,” says Crestwood Medical Center CEO Dr. Pam Hudson.

According to an unpublished report meant for the White House Coronavirus Task Force Alabama is one of the 18 states that researches say should shut down or roll back openings. But Alabama’s officials say they don’t want to do that to the economy.

“We have to make a living. We need to make money but I don’t want to be there because people aren’t wearing masks,” says Smithee.

Governor Ivey’s mask order is set to expire on July 31st at 5 p.m.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Friday that officials are closely watching the case numbers trying to measure if the nearly two-week-old Madison County mask order is starting to have an effect. If not, he said additional closure steps could be needed.