DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The state of Alabama is now in the top five in the nation, but it’s not a ranking we can be proud of. Doctors are becoming more concerned as the state’s COVID positivity rate is the highest it has been since the start of the year.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported nearly 1,400 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday. The Health Department states this is the third time since the start of July that Alabama has reported more than 1,000 cases in a single day.
On Thursday, ADPH said all Wiregrass counties are now in the “very high risk” category for the spread of COVID-19. One state medical official says it simply does not need to be this way.
According to the District Medical Officer with ADPH, Doctor Karen Landers, the positivity rate for COVID-19 in the state of Alabama is the highest it has been since February.
Landers said the state is at about 7.7 percent. She said this percentage reflects the number of positive tests versus the number of overall tests that have been done.
“There has been less demand but of course that demand is going up and again we are seeing a high number of those tests being positive,” Landers said. “This is also a reflection of the transmission of COVID-19 in the community. It is very disturbing.”
Landers said it’s important that people not focus on the variant, but rather the spread of the virus.
She said medical experts do not test every specimen of COVID-19, but of the strains that have been tested, 56 have been positive for the Delta variant.
“Our low vaccine rates here in Alabama, coupled with persons not following mitigation standards if they are not vaccinated and certainly persons gathering more together with more recently over the Fourth of July to see that we have a lot of contributory factors,” Landers said.
According to Landers, it’s important not to only look at the positivity percentage, but also to keep in mind the jump in hospitalizations, which she said is also increasing with about 341 patients in Alabama hospitals fighting COVID. This is why she is pleading for people to get vaccinated.
“Please get vaccinated, please do this for yourself, please do this for your family, please do this for your community,” Landers said. “In Alabama, we do not have to be here we have the way out.”
Doctor Landers tells WDHN it is very important everyone goes and gets their vaccine. She said there are plenty of vaccines to go around. Landers can’t emphasize enough how safe and effective vaccines are.
She also reminds Alabamians that getting vaccinated is the one and only way to protect our state.