Masks, Health Ministry advises as COVID continues to climb again

Masks, Health Ministry advises as COVID continues to climb again

View an omicron variant for COVID-19. (Source: Pixabay)

It’s time for Alabamians who don’t want to catch COVID to wear their masks again.

That was the advice from the Alabama Department of Public Health this week as cases continued to increase across the state.

After the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits in the spring and hospitals wiped out overflow patients, people began to believe the pandemic was over.

Not.

The number of hospitalizations has been on the rise in recent weeks, and 677 people diagnosed with COVID were in Alabama hospitals Friday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. COVID dashboard.

That’s the highest number since February, but not nearly 3,000 hospitalized Covid patients a day in January.

The state’s positivity rate, which shows the percentage of people who have been officially tested for COVID-19 and come back positive, has risen to 30.2%.

Health officials said the positivity rate and the number of cases significantly reduce the spread of COVID now because many people are taking home tests and don’t report their infection unless they get sick enough to seek a doctor’s care.

For the week ending Friday, 2,854 new cases were officially reported daily statewide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In all, 1.407 million cases of COVID have been reported in Alabama since the pandemic began in March 2020, and 19,872 people have died.

Jefferson County accounted for about 14.4% of the cases in the state and 12% of the deaths.

Last week, the Alabama Department of Public Health shared a tweet that read, “When in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Let’s print the mask and protect our community.”

Governor Kay Ivey’s office quickly disagreed, with her spokeswoman responding, “The seafood restaurant was serving Rocky Mountain oysters before there was a mask mandate in Alabama. Normalizing masking, COVID restrictions and the like are nowhere in Governor Ivey’s vocabulary.” Alabamians have common sense and can choose what’s best for them.”

However, the Health Department tweet did not suggest authorization. Encourage people to choose the mask. “If you have to ask… just wear it and protect those around you,” says the video containing the tweet.

health officials’ Masking advice It is for people living in communities with high levels of COVID to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. For those in communities at high risk of contracting the virus, the official recommendation is to consult with their doctors about whether they need masks. Concealment is not mentioned in the guidelines for people who live in communities where the risk of COVID is low. But everyone, regardless of the threat level in their community, is advised to get vaccinated and get tested if they develop symptoms. People at high risk are advised to take extra precautions.

Most of the state’s counties are rated as having high rates of COVID in the community, but a few are not. Counties classified as having medium community levels are Butler, Clay, Colbert, Cosa, Elmore, Green, Hill, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lee, Macon, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, and Winston. Counties classified as having low community rates are Franklin and Pickens. All other counties are rated as having high community levels.


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