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Is the worst of the pandemic over?

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Researchers close to the CDC are cautiously optimistic about the trajectory of the pandemic.

There are four different mathematical scenarios from research groups around the world getting an outlook for the pandemic for the next six months.

And if their research is correct, COVID cases could be down significantly by spring.

The surge of COVID cases from the delta variant appear to be peaking nationwide.

A team of researchers who advise the CDC said COVID cases and deaths will likely decline steadily over the next six months.

Local doctors are excited about the research, but given what happened with the delta variant, they’re not ready to relax.

“We’re trying to forecast something that’s very…there’s a lot of factors that go into it. It depends on the number of people who are vaccinated. It depends on the number of people who have had COVID-19. It depends on if new variants come along. It depends on what happens when people are driven indoors because of colder temperatures,” said Medical Director of Disease Control for the Jefferson County Department of Health, Dr. Wesley Willeford.

“March is a very long time from September.”

President of the Alabama Hospital Association, Dr. Don Williamson, said the research models rely heavily on assumptions.

And the ideal outcome likely hinges on children getting the vaccine.

“I worry about that because we’ve not done that well vaccinating adults and I am concerned that, at least in Alabama, we may not hit those same metrics for children,” Dr. Williamson said.

He’s also concerned about the impact flu could have on the pandemic.

“I worry that we could see a higher than last year rate of influenza, which partially fills hospitals, and then that occurs on top of the ongoing COVID situation, and so, I fear that we could well find ourselves without any meaningful improvement in our ICU situation until we get through the influenza season,” Dr. Williamson said.

Both Dr. Willeford and Dr. Williamson said while the models are encouraging, it’s up to us to achieve what the research is predicting.

They said the best way out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated.

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