The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says more than 900 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized in Alabama; that on the heels of a surge in the Delta COVID variant.
That’s the highest number of hospitalizations statewide since February, and the CDC says that too few residents are currently vaccinated and higher vaccination rates will help reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris calls the increase “unprecedented,” stating that the upward trend is extremely concerning, especially with the Delta variant being so highly infectious and much more transmissible than earlier strains.
The CDC has provided an update on the pandemic, and issued a number of important recommendations:
- Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities. Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated and continue masking until they’re fully vaccinated. With a Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates
- Data shows that Delta is different than past versions of the virus: it is much more contagious – some vaccinated individuals can get Delta in a breakthrough infection and may be contagious. Vaccinated people represent only a very small amount of the transmission occurring around the country. Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.
- In areas with “substantial” and “high transmission rates” the CDC is recommending everyone (including those fully vaccinated) wear a mask in public indoor settings, to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others.
- The CDC recommends that community leaders encourage vaccination and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.
- The CDC currently recommends “universal indoor masking” for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with prevention strategies in place.
FREE COVID-19 vaccine is widely available in Alabama in over 1,400 locations.
For more information – https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/index.html