What COVID-19 trends are doctors focusing on?

Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We hear a lot of statistics and numbers regarding COVID-19. We reached out to an infectious disease doctor to see what trends he focuses on.

Like many in the medical field, Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease doctor at UAB who also had COVID-19, looks at the average number of new coronavirus cases per day. Wednesday, the state of Alabama added another 906 new cases.

Saag also looks at the website “91-DIVOC,” which is COVID-19 backwards. It gives you interactive maps showing the status of the virus in each state. He compares all that information with other states. He also takes a look at testing numbers and the percent positive results. That number is an important metric in the coronavirus pandemic. The percent positive number is over 10% right now in the state according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

“Why is that important? Because it tells us how much the new cases are outstripping the testing capacity. New York is down to .97%, but they’re less than 1%. We want this less than 4%, and so we’re not anywhere close,” Dr. Saag said.

Dr. Saag is worried about the next four weeks in Alabama especially with hospitalizations. He says the system could get overwhelmed if people don’t take the situation seriously.

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