New Shoals mayors share thoughts on extended mask mandate


THE SHOALS, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey extended the state’s mask mandate through Friday, January 22, 2021, at 5 p.m. The only thing changing with this extension from the previous order is the expiration date.

For three mayors in the Shoals, this is the first extension under their new leadership. On Wednesday, following the governor’s announcement, the mayors agreed that helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 requires a team effort.

“We’re listening very carefully to her recommendations and certainly as mayor, I’m trying to be very proactive, especially for our employees, to keep them as safe as possible and our citizens,” Florence Mayor Andy Betterton said. “I certainly support that extension.”

Sheffield Mayor Steve Stanley shared that sentiment as well. He said citizens should do everything they can to mitigate the spread, especially with COVID fatigue setting in.

“Everybody is tired of wearing masks and tired of social distancing and wants things to get back to normal but they’re not normal still and we need to be diligent and continue to do everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Stanley said.

Muscle Shoals Mayor Mike Lockhart believes in the importance of following the mask order in support of local businesses.

“We’ve got to persevere,” Mayor Lockhart said. “Don’t let the fatigue give us a sense of, ‘well it’s just not worth it,’ or ‘I can let my guard down today.’” “Each day, each second, each minute is important, and we just need to continue to follow the mandate, persevere through this, and we’ll all come out on the other side.”

All three mayors served as councilmen before they were elected and said that serving in that capacity at the beginning of the pandemic has helped them during the transition.

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