Ivey’s office reacts to American Academy of Pediatrics’ mask recommendation
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey’s office is reacting to news that the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday recommended universal masking in schools for everyone who is 2-years-old and above.
“As we start the 2021-’22 school year, a large portion of students are not eligible to be vaccinated, and there are COVID variants that are more contagious,” said Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee.
“Because of this and because we want to have all students in school, the AAP advocates for all students, teachers and staff to wear masks while indoors in school.”
Reached for comment, Ivey’s press secretary, Gina Maiola, said “Governor Ivey believes students need to be in the classroom without any type of mask requirement,” and added “she continues to encourage all eligible Alabamians to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine to make COVID-19 a distant memory.”
Alabamians are, by and large, not rolling up those sleeves and, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, in just three weeks it has seen 47 of the state’s 67 counties climb to “very high risk” of COVID-19 spreading.
Data indicates the state is ranked last in the nation for percentage of people who have decided to get vaccinated. Currently, only about one-third of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the state’s hospitals are also seeing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, though they have not reached previous crisis levels.
Ivey has previously stated that, despite the increasing spread of the Delta variant, she sees no need for mandating facemasks or other health restrictions.
“I’m not going to have anything to do with telling people what to do about their health,” the governor said last week. “They got good common sense and they will use it.”
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