UAB concerned about upcoming COVID-19 spread

Staying safe during COVID-19 pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Doctors across Alabama will be watching the next couple of weeks to see if the number of positive COVID-19 cases jumps even more. In the last three weeks, there has been a steady increase in cases and hospitalizations.

Doctors at UAB and across Alabama will be watching their case loads. UAB Epidemiologist Dr. Suzanne Judd said the state’s positivity rate is now hitting around 14%. That too high for them and there are concerns with big events coming up like the election on Tuesday and Thanksgiving.

Alabama voters will be heading to the polls Tuesday. Election officials are expecting a record turnout.

Dr. Suzanne Judd says despite the large crowds, it can be done safely.

“Most of the polls are socially distanced, having people six feet apart. You will see a lot of masking hopefully and this should keep people safe,” Dr. Judd said.

Dr. Judd said the health community is watching for another possible spike in numbers over the next two weeks up to November 14. Judd believed there has been a lot of examples of a large number of people getting together.

“We just had Halloween to homecoming events in our K-12 schools. Lots of opportunities people getting together. Possibly even more than they were previously and there is a chance that COVID is going to continue to increase,” Judd said.

Another concern is the Thanksgiving holiday approaching. Dr. Judd said people should consider options to the traditional Thanksgiving. Open windows and try to socially distance at the Thanksgiving table.

“Really try to get people spread out. Either through outside dining or dining in shifts or maybe do a non-food Thanksgiving this year. Do something totally different where people get together, but they don’t eat,” Judd said.

Judd said students should consider alternatives to going home from college. At UAB, students will go home for Thanksgiving and not return until after the Martin Luther King Holiday in January.

Judd believed it’s important for Governor Ivey’s face mask order to be extended beyond the current November 8 deadline because masks slow the spread of the disease.

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