HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Omicrons subvariant, B.A. 2.12.1, is now the dominant strain in the country, making up nearly 60% of all COVID-19 cases. This is driving up not only positive cases but hospitalizations.
Over the past couple of weeks, COVID-19 cases across the country have been increasing and numbers in Alabama are starting to follow suit, this is why medical professionals want to remind the community that COVID-19 is nowhere close to being over.
At this time, the state is averaging around 600 positive COVID-19 cases a day, which is up from the 100 the state was seeing in previous weeks. Medical experts are preparing for even more COVID-19 cases with gatherings over the Memorial Day Weekend.
“Our percent positivity is right at 12% when we were around 2% at our lowest point,” Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health said. “Our hospitalizations, we had somewhere between 50 and 60 inpatients at our low point. And we are no around 120 in-patients.”
In the Wiregrass, those numbers are also increasing with Coffee County having a COVID-19 positivity higher than the states at 16%. Hospitalizations are also rising with Southeast Health now treating 15 patients with the virus, the highest number of patients since March.
“Due to a combination of factors of fewer people wearing masks, more people getting together, the waining effect of both vaccination and immunity from normal infection of the virus,” Dr. Stubblefield said.
This is why medical professionals want Alabamians to know COVID is still present in communities. With more than half of Alabama counties either at a ‘high’ or ‘substantial’ risk for COVID-19, many experts believe there will never be an end to COVID.
“The goal is that we know how to treat it, we have treatment now, we know how to prevent it, we know how to keep it from spreading and our hope is it becomes a manageable disease,” Dr. Stubblefield said.
As cases continue to increase in Alabama, medical professionals say it’s important to know your own personal risk when it comes to COVID-19.