DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — State medical experts are urging Alabamians to remain cautious as omicron’s sub-variant, BA.2.12.1, is driving up 28% of all new cases across the nation.

The big question medical experts are looking into right now, is whether or not the new variant will drive up hospitalizations, which could also increase the number of COVID-19 deaths.

Even with low levels of COVID-19 in Alabama, health experts are keeping an eye on the possible increase of new cases. Currently, Autauga, Lee, Russell, and Shelby Counties in Alabama are substantial for the spread of the coronavirus. Coosa County in Alabama is considered high risk, having a positivity rate higher than 10%.

“It will come, it will be here,” Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said. “There is some information on the CDC Data Tracker that indicates it probabaly already is here. We don’t sequence every specimen but there is no reason to believe that we don’t have it here in Alabama and we won’t get it here in Alabama.”

At this time, Alabama health experts want to stress the importance of testing. They say if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, it’s vital to get tested right away and follow CDC guidelines to limit the spread.