Marshall County healthcare workers react to Gov. Ivey’s mask mandate extension

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – The number of new positive coronavirus cases seem to be slowing down in Marshall County hospitals, and masks could be the reason for that.

Now that Governor Kay Ivey has extended her mandatory mask order to August 31, 2020, the numbers are expected to go down even more.

“At one point, as far as in-patient admissions, we had 36 patients between the two hospitals. Today we have total of 23, so that’s very encouraging,” said Marshall Medical Centers chief nursing officer Kathy Woodruff.

Woodruff told WHNT News 19 that is likely because of mask use.

“I want to believe in my heart that the masks have helped because it has decreased the number of positive cases that we’ve seen in the county, just from the numbers. It also seems to be decreasing the number of admissions we’re having in the hospital. It may just be a coincidence but I’m going to say that that is the reason,” explained Woodruff.

She said she is happy with the mask mandate extension.

“There’s a lot of controversy that goes with the wearing of the masks and face coverings and I understand that. Everybody has their opinions, but as healthcare provider and doing what we do, we were very encouraged to see that that was extended. I hope it does make a difference and I hope that people comply,” said Woodruff.

She told WHNT News 19 that 24 patients at Marshall Medical Centers have died of the coronavirus since March. 123 others have been discharged.

“That means that they were healthy enough to go home or back to the nursing home or rehab depending on where they came from. So, they still had some recovery time once they got home but they were still well enough to be discharged from the hospital,” explained Woodruff.

The statistics show that the majority of people who have COVID-19 have minor or no symptoms at all and do not need hospitalization.

Students, faculty and staff at all Alabama schools must also wear masks when school starts back.

Woodruff says she doesn’t expect masks to be a problem for the students’ health-wise.

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