The COVID-19 pandemic is improving, but not over

Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 11:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2021 at 11:32 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s positive COVID cases are trending in the right direction even though there was a slight increase this week. More than one thousand cases were reported Friday.

There is a positive outlook compared to the large numbers the Jefferson County Department of Health was seeing just last month. Still, while the numbers are better they are not yet where health leaders want to see them.

“We are actually in a very good trajectory right now,” Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.

The Jefferson County Department of Health found there is some news with the latest COVID cases being reported. “We knew this was going to happen with Delta where it is a dramatic escalation in cases. Our hospitals filled up. Our ICU’s getting filled up. Now we are definitely on the down slope,” Hicks said.

Does that mean the latest surge of cases and the pandemic is coming under control? Dr. Hicks said 57% of county residents have gotten at least one vaccination. 46% are fully vaccinated. “Quite frankly we want at least 70 something of our residents to be fully vaccinated. We still have a ways to go” Hicks said.

The county’s positivity rate is now at 4.9%., but weeks ago it was over 20%. While the trend is promising, it’s not enough to say the health threat is over.

“We are averaging roughly 75 cases a day. We would like that to be down to ten or less. We will take 75 now because a few weeks ago we got well up over 600,” Hicks said.

Health leaders said the future will still depend on more people getting vaccinated and wearing masks. The reason for the drop in cases is due to vaccinations, face coverings and the use of monoclonal antibodies to keep people with COVID out of hospitals.

Doctors are still concerned about the flu season. The flu season mixed with COVID cases could possibly strain hospital ICU’s. They are continuing to ask for safety measures and caution with the upcoming holidays.

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