MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – In a 2-3 vote, the Marshall County Commission voted against a mask mandate for residents while inside the county courthouse and county-owned buildings.
Chairman James Hutcheson broke the tied 2-2 vote, turning down the mandate.
District 1 Commissioner Ronny Shumate and District 3 Commissioner Lee Sims voted against the mandate, while District 2 Commissioner Rick Watson and District 4 Commissioner Joey Baker voted in favor of it.
The decision was made in an emergency meeting Tuesday morning, with the sole purpose of discussing a mask mandate. The meeting was open to the public and via Zoom.
Several local healthcare providers and public officials spoke in favor of the mask mandate, pleading with residents, citing the number of hospital beds already taken up at Marshall Medical Centers.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), as of Tuesday morning, 35% of Alabamians had been fully vaccinated; 46% had received at least one dose. All counties were considered “high risk” with a greater than 10% COVID positivity rate.
Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency last Friday in response to the number of rising COVID-19 cases across the state.