DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Fourth of July weekend is officially here, and last year many parties and celebrations were canceled due to COVID-19. This year, local medical experts are giving a new warning, as the COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading more rapidly.
According to Dr. George Narby, Chief Medical Officer at Southeast Health, the Delta variant is extremely concerning being a super-spreader of the COVID-19 virus. He said it is the most contagious variant we have seen yet. This is why he said medical experts are expecting localize outbreaks of COVID-19 to happen where vaccination rates are low.
“Not only is Delta more contagious, but a study out of Scotland also suggests that it may actually cause more severe disease,” Narby said. They have seen increasing rates of hospitalization in Scotland with the Delta variant.”
This is a major concern medical healthcare has for the wellbeing of the community. Dr. Narby said each positive COVID-19 result, hospitalization, and even death is 100 percent preventable with all of the COVID vaccines available in the U.S.
He urges people to get vaccinated and continue practicing CDC guidelines. He said this is especially important as we go into the Fourth of July holiday, as well as summer gatherings.
“If you have not been vaccinated, and right now in the Wiregrass that is a lot of people, if you have not been vaccinated with this Delta variant in circulation,” Dr. Narby said. “We strongly recommend you wear a mask and maintain social distancing.”
Doctor Narby tells WDHN he understands many people are eager to go out and celebrate with their family and friends since last year many people were stuck inside due to COVID-19. He just warns people to be cautious and be safe as they gather with their family and friends.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has officially declared Houston, Henry, Coffee, and Dale Counties as ‘very high risk’ for the spread of the Coronavirus.
Geneva county is listed under ‘moderate risk.’ ADPH suggests people living in a ‘very high risk’ area should wear face mask coverings, practice social distancing and stay home when possible, this is why Narby stresses vaccinations.
“People hospitalized with COVID all have one thing in common they have not been vaccinated,” Narby said. “Vaccinations prevent deaths. It simply doesn’t have to be this way any longer.
Narby said it’s important that residents in the Wiregrass know this information. COVID is still out there and it’s still spreading, and getting vaccinated can offer protection.