At a Wednesday press conference of governmental entities in Madison County, Dr. Pam Hudson outlined the dramatic effect masking would have on reducing the transmission of COVID-19.
According to Hudson, CEO of Crestwood Medical Center, COVID-19 transmission would be reduced by 90% if 80% of the community wore a face covering.
Hudson’s statement comes as 66 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Madison County, according to her. She also noted that the percentage of positive tests at healthcare facilities in the area was now running at about the statewide average, and that there were currently more than 90 COVID-19 hospitalizations in county facilities.
“Things are not all well in our county,” Hudson remarked. “COVID-19 has gained and is continuing to gain footholds in our community.”
She attributed this growth in cases to a lack of masking and social distancing.
Madison County enacted a mask mandate which went into effect Tuesday evening. This is a move that Hudson supports.
“Much asymptomatic transmission is likely going on,” she asserted.
With concerns about the number of available healthcare personnel, Hudson called for a renewed focus on precautionary measures.
“We have to flatten the curve again,” she said. “We have to cover our faces. We have to social distance at least six feet apart.”
Believing a COVID-19 vaccination is “months” away, Hudson remarked, “I would like to suggest we think about this masking and distancing as a temporary vaccination.”
Also participating in the press conference, Madison Mayor Paul Finley expressed his desire to see a masking policy statewide.
“It would be much easier, statewide, if a mandate came out from the governor when it came to face coverings,” Finley outlined.
As for local enforcement of his area’s mandate, Finley sought to clarify his city’s role.
“We’re not out hunting folks who are not wearing masks,” he said. “We are there to support the community in moving forward. We are not out there as mask police. We are out there to try to help a community through this situation.”
Responding to a question asking whether the state should consider closing businesses again to stop the spread of COVID-19, Finley answered quickly, “I hope not.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia