Health experts say Alabama is seeing downward trend in cases but urge caution ahead flu season

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Fall is quickly approaching and with no vaccine available for COVID-19, it’s left many medical professionals concerned for the effects the virus may have on the public once flu season begins.

“Face coverings will have a double benefit protecting us against the spread of not only COVID-19 but influenza so I don’t know what the state is going to do. But here in Jefferson County, it is very likely that I am going to be pushing to continue face coverings through the flu season just advanced warning,” Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said.

Studies show curbing COVID-19 through Alabama’s mandatory face covering’s ordinance has been effective. However, with schools reopening and some districts allowing fall sports we could be seeing an increase in cases again.

Dr. Wilson says each school district has been given the authority to decide if they will offer fall sports.

“Sports like football, basketball, wrestling, and I think volleyball is on that list, these are ‘high risk’ and it’s really not possible to completely mitigate the risk of spread of disease in the sport activity itself,” Dr. Wilson said.

UAB’s Health Care system is seeing a downward trend in hospital capacity and those utilizing their services. Although, staff says many in the industry are still suffering.

“We are down several hundred nurses. We are having to use contractual nurses or some people call them traveler and these are people we have hardly ever had to use before. These nurses and other professionals and support staff that are dealing with these other units are getting burned out,” CEO of the UAB Health System Will Ferniany said.


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