BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health leaders across the country and here in Alabama believe there could be more COVID 19 cases and deaths. The IHME out of the University of Washington predicts there could be a 78 percent increase in deaths, estimated at 395,000 by February.
WBRC Fox6 News spoke with Alabama Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. Dr. Harris is concerned about an increase in numbers of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. He said if people fail to do what they should to protect themselves, Alabama may experience even more problems they haven’t seen in months.
Alabama’s COVID-19 numbers were all heading in the right direction but that changed about two weeks ago.
“We have seen an uptick in numbers over the last several days. We are up around 10% over the last week in terms of new numbers of cases.” Harris said.
The public health officer said hospitalizations are also up with about a hundred more a day being admitted to state hospitals. As the weather gets colder, Harris believes this will contribute to more spread of the coronavirus.
“I would say we have seen community transmission in several parts of the state. We adjusted color county dashboard. We went from four or five counties that had numbers going in the wrong direction, to about 18 counties going in the wrong direction.” Harris said.
The IHME projections for more confirmed cases and deaths are expecting increases, especially if states relax their mandates of facial coverings.
“There is no question in my mind masks have reduced diseases and saved lives. I think that is something we can all agree on.” Harris said.
Governor Ivey will have to make a decision to extend the current facial covering order in the first week of November. Harris is also looking at flu season. The ever changing impact of the coronavirus on people’s health.