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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- As the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to rise across the state, Marshall County is seeing one of the largest increases.

According to the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, Marshall County has added 633 new cases over the last 14 days, which is the most among Alabama counties with fewer than 100,000 people.

WHNT News 19 has asked county officials whether they would consider following larger counties, like Madison County, and mandate mask use across the board.

Previously commission chairman James Hutcheson said a couple of weeks ago they had not discussed a mandatory mask ordinance.

However, after some discussion and research, he told WHNT News 19 they actually cannot mandate one.

“Some counties have healthcare authority that’s who calls the shots on if it’s mandated to wear a facemask,” Hutcheson said. “Marshall County, we don’t have a healthcare authority, and so the commission itself does not have authority to mandate. It would have to come from the governor’s office if it was county-wide.”

The commission can, however, require people to wear masks inside county buildings, like the courthouse, which they already do.

The commission is now accepting bids from local mask suppliers to purchase more for county buildings.

More than 12,000 masks have already been given out at both Marshall County courthouses, which has over $15,000.