State health officer discusses latest on COVID-19 cases, vaccines

Recent updates to state health order

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health reports current hospitalizations are the lowest the state has seen since April 2020.

As hospitalizations drop, the number of people getting vaccinated in Alabama continues to rise. Over 1.9 million doses have been administered.

More than half the states in the U.S. are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, but Alabama is not one of those.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said it’s still a little too early to say that we’ve won the battle.

“I think people do need to continue to be careful,” Harris said.

Harris said that includes social distancing and wearing a mask. While the state’s mask mandate expires Friday, Harris hopes Alabamians will continue to wear one.

“There are many others who maybe recognize the science but just are done with it. And you know, I don’t know what to say. I think we’ve we’ve still got a few more weeks or maybe months until we’re throwing this all together,” Harris added.

State health officer on COVID-19

Harris said how soon we can get back to normal depends on how quickly we get enough Alabamians vaccinated.

“We’re all looking forward to getting this behind this switch. If we can get enough people vaccinated, that’ll come definitely sooner rather than later,” Harris said.

Harris also addressed vaccine hesitancy in the state. He said a poll found that about 30% of adults in the state are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He called that a real concern.

Thirty percent or more of the residents of 29 Alabama counties have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to date.

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