Alabama health leaders dispute WH Coronavirus Task Force numbers

Dr. Harris not buying task force COVID-19 numbers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - This week’s White House Coronavirus Task Force numbers for Alabama are showing improvements. The number of confirmed positive cases are down 17% while deaths dropped 46%.

Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s Public Health Officer is not buying it. He said the numbers are still rising and going in the wrong direction.

Harris said there was a problem with the numbers the White House was using and his department spoke with them about it last week. The Task Force had been using numbers from data dumps that could have gone back to April. Harris says it has been corrected.

The Tasks Force still rates Alabama as a red zone state which is 30th highest in the country.

“Ultimately you have more people infected. We know people get infected when they don’t socially distance and don’t wear masks and don’t do all the things we asked them to do,” Harris said.

Alabama’s COVID 19 positivity number is now over 8%. it was in the low 7% range earlier.

“We are getting more than a thousand cases a day. These are not just cases reported to us but people actually testing positive. Hospitalizations are up. Percent positivity numbers are up,” Harris said.

Alabama still has a mandatory face covering order until November 8th. Dr. Harris doesn’t know if Governor Ivey will extend the order just yet.

“Our belief is the mask mandate has saved lives. I think the data is clear on that. The numbers in our state never improved at all until the mask mandate was put into place,” Harris said.

The White House Task Force continues to recommend social distancing and having mandates in place to wear face coverings, avoiding crowds and hygiene practices.

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