BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the seven-day positivity rate sits at 6.1 percent. About a month ago, that number was closer to two percent.
Dr. Wes Stubblefield from the Alabama Department of Public Health said officials are watching trends to determine the next course of action.
“COVID’s never gone away, COVID has continued, and we expect COVID to continue for some time if not indefinitely,” Stubblefield said.
It’s another reminder that we are still waiting to see how immune Alabama is to this next wave of the virus.
“This virus has fooled us multiple times in the past,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden said Tuesday to CBS News. “It really has to be at a low enough level that it does not disrupt society the way it has done so dramatically over the last two and a half years.”
Fauci said we are waiting for a time when there’s an uptick in infections, but the severity of hospitalizations and deaths stays low.
Stubblefield said right now, it is too soon to tell.
“Everyone needs to know their risk for infection, especially for severe infection,” Stubblefield said. “Most healthy people will not get severe infection, although some will, but some people are at high risk for severe infection even if they have been vaccinated and boosted, and those people need to take this very seriously.”
Cases have jumped from about 100 to 200 per day right now, but that is nowhere near what we saw in the middle of Omicron at 15,000 to 17,000 infections per day. Stubblefield said the positivity rate right now may be higher if people are using at home COVID tests.
“This is still out there,” Stubblefield said. “If you need to make a decision to protect yourself or others, then you need to feel empowered to wear that mask because we know that they work.”
If there is too much stress on healthcare system, Stubblefield said the CDC will be recommending masking and more precautions again.
CBS 42 also checked in with organizers at the World Games who said they are watching this closely with health officials across the world to keep health safety a priority.
They sent us the following statement:
“The World Games 2022 continues working with local, state, national and international officials and health experts to ensure the Games are safe and secure for the athletes, spectators, media and others who will attend. Working with these partners, we closely monitor the status of COVID-19 cases and will follow health and safety guidance of local public health authorities. All travelers to the United States are required to provide proof of vaccination and COVID protocols for all athletes, coaches and officials residing at the Athlete Villages are being finalized. In addition, masks will be available to all attendees who request masks. The World Games 2022 will utilize available funding for these and other important measures to protect public health.”