Nature

North Alabama remains ‘high’ at COVID-19 community level, CDC recommends indoor masking

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama has had 1.46 million cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, and case rates aren’t slowing down much.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reports that the state has nearly 538,000 cases in 2022 and that figure is only about 1,100 cases lower than last year’s total for the full year.

State figures also show that the rate of community transmission remains high.

Successful COVID treatments have been developed, ADPH officials said, contributing to the fact that current COVID hospitalizations are well below numbers from the same period a year ago.

“We still have a lot of COVID as you well know, our positivity percentage is very high,” Dr. Karen Landers, medical director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, told News 19 on Friday. “But we’re not capturing home testing, so we probably have more COVID than we think. I think the right information is that at least at this point, when you look at our hospitalizations, we’re just over 600 people hospitalized, and we’ve had fewer deaths, over this last surge in COVID, over of the past few months.”

Most of northern Alabama is also in the red on the “community level,” which measures case rates, staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new rates. of hospitalization. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear masks indoors when in public, when a county is at a “high” community level. But this recommendation is not a mandate.

“I think the advice should be followed,” Landers said. “I think advice is very important. Of course, at this point and at this time, people are going to make their own decisions, about COVID-19 as they have for quite a while, I think the challenge continues to remind people of the mitigation standards that we have, do work, and they help.

The numbers show that about half of Alabama’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a number that Landers says is expected to be higher.

“It’s very concerning to me that we’re not in as good of a control situation as we could be with a vaccine-preventable disease,” she said.

Landers also wants the public to know that there is a new FDA-approved vaccine that is traditional in composition, not mRNA vaccine technology that was used in the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

“COVID is still with us, and we really urge people to get vaccinated,” Landers said. “I know there’s been a lot of talk about people wanting a conventional vaccine, now we have it. Novavax is out, Novavax is here and people are waiting for a traditional, regular subunit vaccine, again we have this product in Alabama and it’s available.

Those interested in a COVID-19 vaccine can find a nearby location at vaccines.gov.


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