Alabama’s COVID positivity rate drops below 5%, now what?
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The COVID positivity rate in Alabama is less than 5%, the magic number health experts said is needed to keep the virus under control.
But what does this mean for your family’s health and safety?
The state’s positivity rate stands at 3.8%, and it’s even lower in Jefferson County at 3.4%, but local health leaders said those numbers are somewhat arbitrary, and we need to be careful about how we interpret the data.
That’s because so many people are testing for COVID at home, and there’s really no way to track those results.
Health experts said hospitalization numbers are a better way to track community spread.
State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Scott Harris, said the new numbers are a step in the right direction, but he cautions that this pandemic is not over, saying it’s not like flipping a switch.
He said about half of Alabama is still unvaccinated, and hundreds of people are still contracting COVID every day and dying from it.
Deputy Health Officer for the Jefferson County Department of Health, Dr. David Hicks, said we can’t rule out another highly infectious variant, and encourages people to roll up their sleeves.
“Understanding COVID and your risk of COVID is part of the normal… should be part of the normal good decision making that we all make… You know, we know if we get in a car, we want to wear a seatbelt and we don’t want to drive too fast. We know if we’re going to cook dinner at home, you know you don’t want to eat your raw chicken. You want to make sure you’ve cooked it well and cleaned up well when you’re finished,” Dr. Harris said.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but we know that we’ve seen this before where things got a lot better and then oh my goodness a month or so later two months later then it comes back up again, so I think what we have to start thinking about is if we don’t want to keep on having these ups and downs then we have to then think about the vaccination and the boosters,” said Dr. Hicks.
You can still get a COVID vaccine at the Jefferson County Department of Health without an appointment.
You can walk in for the shot Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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