BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Jefferson County, and Tuesday the Jefferson County Health Department is slated to discuss communities in the high risk category.
Alabama is currently averaging about 70 new cases of COVID-19 a day, up significantly from a month ago. Dr. David Hicks said there are many things to consider with the uptick in cases, including children heading back to the classroom in the Fall. Since Alabama is less vaccinated than other communities nationwide, it does pose a higher risk for students catching COVID-19 in the classroom.
Hicks said wearing masks in the classroom should be left to each school district and the Jefferson County Health Department will not be mandating any changes with this. To see vaccination numbers increase, he’s also hoping county leaders look at targeting certain groups and populations using health data. That includes looking at reaching more males who have lower vaccination rates than females and ethnic groups including Native Americans, Hispanics and African Americans.
“For me in schools, I want to make sure our teachers are fully vaccinated and our staff in schools are fully vaccinated. So that’s certainly an opportunity to make sure you push the messaging to fully protect staff and employees in the school system,” Hicks said.