Alabama health leaders react to ‘impending doom’ comment about COVID-19

COVID reset

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you look at the latest COVID numbers for Alabama, hospitalizations are down to 350 statewide. That’s the lowest we’ve seen since April of last year, the very beginning of the pandemic.

Health leaders in Montgomery and at the Jefferson County Department of Health are optimistic, but they all contend people in Alabama and the country have to keep practicing safety steps until a lot more people are vaccinated.

While COVID numbers are looking good in Alabama, the head of the CDC did warn the country to continue to wear masks and social distant. “I’m going to reflect on the feeling I have of impending doom,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky with the CDC said.

With more states dropping restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing, Walensky is asking people to hold on a little while longer and others agreed.

“Rates have started to tip up a little bit. Some places have gotten really relaxed on a lot of restrictions. That is what the worry is that is going to contribute to a surge,” Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said his department is watching closely what is happening in other states.

“About half of the states in the country are seeing increasing cases, at least a slight increase. We are very concerned about the variants circulating and we are monitoring it very closely,” Harris said.

Next week, Alabama’s mandatory face mask order will expire, but health leaders say that’s not a reason to drop the masks. “There is nothing magically about the mask mandate coming to an end. We want people to continue to be careful. That is true because of your age or because of certain health problems,” Harris said.

Dr. Willeford said when it comes to Jefferson County, they are seeing about 70 positive cases of COVID each day. That has been consistent. It’s better, but he said it needs to come down even more. He said the only way to avoid the doom and gloom is for people to continue to do what they have been doing all along - wearing masks and staying out of crowds.

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