MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama health officials are urging residents to take safety precautions this Thanksgiving as COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state and country.
“We don’t want this to be the last ever Thanksgiving for someone in your family, like your parents or your grandparents,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Harris and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre gave an update on the virus Monday morning.
Harris said the state is heading in the wrong direction, and Alabama is seeing increasing numbers - about 2,000 new cases a day.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have been increasing for the last six weeks and are now the highest since July.
Harris said the actions of people during Thanksgiving will determine how the rest of the holiday season looks.
“We don’t have to have a terrible December, but I am worried about we are going to see,” Harris said.
He added that Alabamians have the ability to stop the upward swing in cases by being cautious.
Harris said about 1.5% of cases have resulted in deaths, which would equal about 75,000 people if the whole state was infected. That percentage increases to about 20% for people 75 and older, Harris said.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there have been 228,373 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the state since the disease was first discovered here in mid-March.