Health leaders seeing positive signs regarding COVID-19 cases

Health leaders seeing positive signs regarding COVID-19 cases

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama health leaders continues to watch the numbers for COVID-19 cases.

Some of the confirmed positive numbers are slowing down, but hospitalizations continue to be a concern.

State health officers and a Jefferson County infectious diseases doctor saw numbers of confirmed COVID cases over the last two weeks and claimed to see some positive trends, but they want to see those numbers continue for a few more weeks before getting too excited. They still consider the pandemic a threat.

If you go to the Alabama Health Department’s state dashboard and see the break down by counties, you will see more counties are now listed as yellow which is a moderate risk for the COVID-19 spread.

“We have seen an actual slight decline in our percent positive. It has fallen by a percentage point. So I think if we have to look hard for good news I do feel somewhat encouraged by that,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama State Health Officer said.

Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties were listed as red in the past; which is very high risk for spread of the infectious disease. The Jefferson County Health Department is also encouraged by the improvements, but at the same time they are cautious.

“We are seeing numbers easily in the 100′s-200′s each day. So we are not out of the woods just yet by any stretch of the imagination but if the trends hold it does look better,” Dr. Wesley Willeford, Jefferson County Public Health Department Infectious Diseases said.

The state looks for number of confirmed cases that declined over the last 7-13 days, whether the positivity rate is declining and if the testing goals have been met. Dr. Willeford said the latest news tells him mandatory face covering order is “working.”

“I think right now we are seeing an increased effectiveness of the masks. It’s showing the masks are effective our numbers are being driven down because he have had a pretty good uptake among a lot of people,” Willeford said.

Dr. Willeford and Dr. Harris have said they are concerned with schools reopening and colleges welcoming back students. They believe there is a concern that much of those improved numbers could go the other direction.

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