HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — With omicron’s subvariant BA.4 and BA.5 now making up 13% of all new COVID-19 cases in the country, cases across the state are increasing, significantly.
The whole state of Alabama is considered ‘high risk,’ once again for the spread of the virus causing medical experts are starting to brace for yet another COVID-19 wave in Alabama.
Chief Medical Officer at Southeast Health, Dr. Narby, understands people might be tired of hearing about it, but COVID-19 is still very much present in the community. He said COVID-19 transmission rates are the highest in the Wiregrass since the beginning of March.
As of Wednesday, the state had a 16% COVID-19 positivity rate. Every single county in the Wiregrass is seeing ‘high’ transmission rates, with Coffee and Henry Counties having a positivity rate higher than the state average.
“The amount of COVID out in the community, in Alabama, in Houston County, and the United States is up significantly,” Dr. Narby said. “The number of people that have COVID is up significantly.”
However, medical experts believe there are many COVID-19 cases not being reported, making the real COVID-19 community spread even greater. Local medical professionals believe these numbers will keep increasing, leading to a fifth surge of COVID in the Wiregrass.
“Omicron BA.4 and omicron BA.5 seem to replacing the current two omicron variants that we have,” Dr. Narby claims.
Narby says these variants are more contagious and appear to have the ability to re-infect people who have already had COVID-19 and even those who have been vaccinated.
Experts believe these variants won’t lead to severe illness, increased hospitalizations, and deaths. Despite the variants spreading at a much quicker rate.
“COVID is certainly circulating at high levels in the community, right now, we are managing and don’t have to many patients in the hospitals with COVID.”
Even though the next surge of COVID isn’t expected to bring severe illness medical experts still recommend people go out and get vaccinated and keep up with all CDC protocols.