ADPH: Alabama COVID numbers improving, but ‘still not where we’d like to be’

Updated: Oct. 5, 2020 at 3:50 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The latest map by the Alabama Department of Public Health shows improvement for coronavirus spread. Only three counties are listed as red with a very high risk of spread, but health officials are not happy with the latest numbers.

Dr. Scott Harris said there are a number of counties going in the right direction, but if you look at national indicators and maps Alabama is still listed as a problem state with coronavirus.

The ADPH map shows counties by how they are trending in COVID cases. “We have only three counties that are going in the wrong direction. Overall, most counties are going in the right direction,” Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

Dr. Harris continues to credit people in Alabama for taking precautions such as hand washing, wearing face coverings and social distancing. But nationally, looking at the numbers - Alabama has a ways to go. “We are still in the top third of states. We are getting around a thousand cases a day. So we are still not where we’d like to be,” Harris said.

The state’s positivity rate is about 7.1%. Harris and others want that rate to be below 5%. While there continues to be positive signs, Harris is wary of people letting their guard down.

“Yeah, we want to make sure people do what they are supposed to do. There is a lot of COVID fatigue out there. People are tired of changing how they do things, but we need them to continue. Nothing has changed since all of this began,” Harris said.

Harris said federal officials are telling them there is no vaccine yet and most people will not get a vaccine until late spring or early summer. A vaccine may be available later this year, but it will be in limited supply and it will be prioritized for those most affected, like healthcare workers and first responders.

Dr. Harris is also pushing for folks to get flu shots so we won’t be hit with a twin pandemic.

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