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Alabama health leaders continue to see Delta spread

COVID cases up
COVID cases up
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s positivity rate for COVID cases in now up to over 22% and hospitalizations have climbed to almost 1,700. Last winter, Alabama was overwhelmed with COVID cases and hospitalizations which was more than 3,000.

The Delta variant is still spreading across the state of Alabama infecting mostly those who are unvaccinated, which makes up about 65% of the state.

Health leaders believe Alabama could see a surge of cases and hospitalizations beyond anything the state has seen so far.

“At this point it certainly looks like trajectory is much more steep than it was the last time and we could certainly outstrip those numbers we had last winter,” Dr. Karen Landers ADPH Area Health Officer said.

Doctors say the number of cases per day is also going up.

“From the middle of June, on average, we were seeing 13 cases per day. The data I was looking at today, we are averaging 250 cases a day,” Dr. Wesley Willeford, JCDH Infectious Diseases said.

Doctors say the Delta variant carries more of the virus than past virus so this makes it far more contagious.

“We do have some data that states that persons exposed to Delta and becomes ill can become ill three to five days after exposure,” Landers said.

Last year that number was seven or more days.

While more people are starting to get vaccinations, given the rate of spread, many believe this virus is going to continue to grow for weeks.

“We are dealing with a virus that is fundamentally different, that is more contagious, and it is one that is going to continue to prove to be challenging for us,” Willeford said.

Health leaders said the threat to hospital care is expected to grow and become a serious problem in the next few weeks. That’s why people are asked to get vaccinated and until then, wear masks and be socially distant.

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