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Concerns about possible increase in COVID-19 cases after Memorial Day Weekend

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home health order is over. It expired at midnight.

The order mandated face masks, social distancing and staying out of crowds. While Alabama has improved greatly, health leaders are still urging caution.

Last year at this time, Alabama saw a big surge in COVID-19 cases two weeks after the Memorial Day weekend. But, due to 1.3 million people getting fully vaccinated and 544,000 getting COVID, recovering with some immunity, one state health leader believed the state is far better off now than last year, but not out of the wood just yet.

About 30% of Alabama is fully vaccinated. The head of the Alabama Hospital Association would like to see more people getting shots but he says it’s better than he had hoped back in January.

“We have gotten dramatically reduced cases. We have gotten dramatically reduced hospitalizations,” Dr. Don Williamson said.

Between vaccinations and those who had COVID and have some level of immunity, Alabama has slowed the pandemic’s spread.

Williamson said with vaccines being readily available around the state, it’s a big help to controlling the pandemic. Still, he has concerns about an increase in cases after the Memorial Day Weekend.

“This is the biggest concern, we still got some high percentage of people under the age of 40 who are not vaccinated,” Williamson said.

Williamson said this population is younger and may not get as sick but they could still spread the virus. Williamson is fully vaccinated but he still wears face masks in crowded places even with the remote chance of getting sick and spreading the virus.

“This is not a signal if you are not vaccinated you don’t have to worry any more. It means you need to get vaccinated too so we don’t have to face another safer at home order,” Williamson said.

The Emergency Health Order is still in effect until July 6th, that means Governor Ivey has the order in place to act if numbers start increasing and hospitalization start increasing again.

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