Author: Glenn Stephens
Health experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham warn that Alabama could see another surge of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. This comes as the number of new daily cases in the state continues to tick upward.
“Unfortunately, we’re now heading up towards higher levels [of COVID-19 caseloads] than we’ve ever seen before,” said Dr. Michael Saag, a UAB infectious disease doctor. “Positivity rates of tests in Alabama are almost up to 25% now. That means one in four tests are coming back positive.”
Saag said this indicates widespread community spread. He said the goal is to have a positivity rate of less than 5%.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said that he predicts “with some degree of certainty” that in the next four to six weeks officials will have some answers to the question of vaccines.
COVID-19 cases in Alabama are surging just as Birmingham sees its first few flu cases, UAB epidemiologist Rachael Lee said Friday.
The rise in the number of COVID-19 infections mirrors trends across most of the country, Lee told reporters. She urged people to continue to wash their hands, wear masks and maintain social distancing — measures that reduce the spread of both COVID-19 and influenza. Lee also recommended getting the flu vaccine since UAB has already diagnosed several patients with the flu.
“Places like Chile and Australia who just had their flu season had very, very low numbers because they were following all of these other COVID-19 mitigation strategies. So I’m hopeful that that, in addition to the flu vaccine, will really protect our community from seeing a surge,” Lee said.