ADPH: Omicron variant “spreading like wildfire” in Alabama

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:19 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Right now, Alabama is reporting the highest daily cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started and the percent positive is at record levels. State health officer Dr. Scott Harris said the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire.

“It will infect everyone in the state at some point probably, or most of them. So, we really need people to do the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves, which is to be fully vaccinated and boosted when it’s appropriate to do that,” Dr. Harris said.

Infectious disease expert Dr. David Kimberlin with Children’s of Alabama agrees. He says the current situation with how fast Omicron is spreading is nothing he’s ever seen in his nearly 30-year career.

“I have never seen a virus sweep an entire country in a week. To my knowledge it’s never happened before,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

Kimberlin says he continues hearing from people who say they aren’t going to wear a face mask because they’re not being told they have to wear one. He says ADPH, the Jefferson County Department of Health and others have been saying all along, they strongly encourage masking along in addition to other safety measures.

“We get what we pay for. What we want to do is pay bargain basement prices and get a premium product and by that I mean we don’t want to mask, we don’t want to get vaccinated. We don’t want to social distance. We don’t’ want to do anything to inconvenience our lives. Well if you go that route, what you’re going to get is skyrocketing cases especially with something like Omicron,” Kimberlin said.

Kimberlin can’t stress it enough, the best defense against covid is getting vaccinated and boosted.

“If you really want to the most to protect yourself, protect your family, protect the people that depend on you and that love you, the best thing you can do is go out and get vaccinated now,” Kimberlin added.

Covid hospitalizations continue to creep up as well but not where they were at the height of the pandemic for now.

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