Alabama health leaders keeping an eye on COVID-19 cases

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State health leaders are watching a slight increase in positive COVID cases. The numbers are way down from three months ago, but new COVID cases have been around 200 a day. Hospitalizations - about 300 a day. Doctors say that means COVID is still spreading.

The state’s positivity rate for COVID had dropped down to 4% or lower, but that has changed recently.

“It has ticked up a little bit over the last week - we are at 5.4%,” Dr. Scott Harris with the Alabama Department of Public Health said.

People are getting vaccinated and some are still wearing masks, even without a statewide mandate in Alabama. Birmingham and other cities still have mandatory face covering ordinances. But still, some are testing positive.

“Obviously, we are watching that closely. We know that half the states in the United States are increasing,” Harris said.

Jefferson County is still seeing the spread of the disease. The health department reported the biggest increase is in younger people. Many are getting the variant UK virus and they are not vaccinated.

“I understand when you are young and healthy, you feel invincible - that is natural,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Teenagers 16 and older can get vaccinated. Willeford said that is the best way to bring the pandemic under control.

“Please get your vaccine, if you can. There are so many opportunities to get that. That is the real way we are going to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror,” Willeford said.

Willeford said information is key to getting people to get the COVID vaccine. State health leaders added the vaccines are the only way Alabama can return to a sense of normalcy.

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