BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The percentage of positive cases related to COVID-19 testing is going up in Alabama. We’re On Your Side with why doctors say that figure is very important in looking at the scope of the spread.
On the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, it shows the percent positive cumulative rate has risen to 12.8% as of November 28th. Johns Hopkins data shows the 7-day moving average of percent positive is at 35% in Alabama, which is one of the highest in the country.
Clearly the numbers are going in the wrong direction says UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Saag. The percent positivity rate is so critical because it gives us insight into the rate of community spread. Saag says when the percent positive rate goes up that can turn into more hospitalizations which could put a big strain on resources.
“That ultimately causes our hospitals to get full and we’re starting to see that now…what we need to do is triple down on the things we know stop transmission. That’s even more important today than it was at any other time during this epidemic,” Dr. Saag said.
Saag says hope is on the horizon with a vaccine that could be rolled out this month but he says it could take another eight months or so for enough people to get vaccinated to start bending the curves in the right direction.