‘We will, unfortunately, see more COVID-19 deaths’: Jefferson Co. Health Dept. doctors warn of climbing COVID-19 cases

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:29 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - “We will, unfortunately, see more COVID-19 deaths,” said Dr. Mark Wilson the Jefferson County Health Officer. Dr. Wilson went on to say almost all of the deaths could have been prevented by vaccinations.

Wilson and other Jefferson County Health leaders held a news conference Thursday to increase awareness of what they are calling the steadily climbing COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County.

Dr. Wilson said one month ago the 7-day rolling average of positive cases in Jefferson County was 13. Right now, as of July 22, 2021, the 7-day average was 107. Wilson said that average case number will go up.

Here are some examples of positive test results. On Monday, July 19, there were 178 cases. On Tuesday, July 20, there were 185 positive cases in Jefferson County.

The Delta variant is now the dominate strain throughout Alabama. Wilson and others said about 80% of the cases in Jefferson County are the Delta variant and that version of the virus is more contagious. Wilson said he has seen cases where people were exposed to the Delta variant for a couple of minutes and they were infected.

In one week the percent positive rate of COVID cases in Jefferson County was 6.2%. At our lowest Jefferson County’s rate was over 1%.

The hospitalizations are climbing across the state and in Jefferson County. As of the last numbers counted there were 118 adults hospitalized including 27 people on ventilators, and 56 in ICU. Five children were also being treated in the hospital. In June there were 30 people being treated for COVID-19 in Jefferson County.

Dr. Wilson made these recommendations for Jefferson County:

  • All eligible people should get COVID-19 vaccinations. Wilson said if you have questions ask a doctor or someone who has been vaccinated.
  • If you are not yet fully vaccinated, wear a face mask any time you are around other people indoors.
  • If vaccinated, you may want to wear a mask under certain circumstances.
  • For those who oversee or in charge of public places Wilson recommends either requiring face masks or at least strongly recommending face coverings in your facility.

Dr. Khalilah Brown, Child Health Medical Director & Laboratory Director went on to recommend school children, who are unvaccinated, wear masks. Dr. Wilson said he appeals to parents to encourage children to wear masks.

Asked about masking and the rise in COVID-19 cases Governor Kay Ivey said people need to get vaccinated. She said almost all of the cases we have seen in Alabama are mostly because people have not been vaccinated.

Ivey said, “These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.” She said we have to get folks to start taking the shot, because it’s our best weapon against COVID-19.

She said people need to use their common sense, take care of themselves and she has done all she knows how to do to encourage people to get vaccinated.

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