MONTGOMERY, Ala. – COVID-19 continues to infect persons in Alabama, with the Delta variant the predominant strain. Given that recent numbers of cases, percent positive tests and hospitalizations are decreasing, Alabamians may feel that the worst is behind us. However, the potential for this virus to cause infection, disease and death remains high.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) cautions that Alabamians must remain vigilant in preventive measures and, if not already vaccinated, take advantage of the ample vaccine available in our state. Over 25 percent of persons infected are in the age range 0-17 years, so prevention remains especially important in children, given that only those 12 years of age and older are eligible for vaccine.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “ADPH is glad that more persons are being vaccinated, with Alabama now having about half of those eligible for vaccine receiving at least one dose of vaccine. Increasing vaccine rates remains critical to reduce cases of COVID-19.”
Alabama has had many COVID-19 cases, so some people have acquired some natural immunity; however, the duration of natural immunity is not known and may vary from person to person. So, it is important for those who have had COVID-19 to be vaccinated after their isolation period ends or, if treated with monoclonal antibodies, after 90 days.
While it is always tempting to relax preventive measures, such as masks, when case numbers look better, Alabama needs to be in the low transmission range before backing off preventive measures. Currently, 64 of Alabama’s 67 counties are in the high transmission range.
To help understand how community transmission rates are calculated, see the chart below. The overall level of community transmission is based on the number of new cases in the past 7 days per 100,000 population and the percent of tests in the past 7 days that have a positive result.
If the two indicators – number of cases per 100,000 persons and percent positive tests – suggest different transmission levels for a county, the higher level is selected. Community transmission rates for each county are provided on Alabama’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard at arcg.is/1uKqbC
Numbers of Cases Per 100,000 Persons % Positive Tests
High Transmission More than 100 persons 10% or more
Substantial Transmission More than 50-99 persons 8% to 9.9%
Moderate Transmission More than 10-49 persons 5% to 7.9%
Low Transmission 0-9 persons Less than 5%
COVID-19information is available at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/index.html.To find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you, text your zip code to 438829 or visit https://www.vaccines.gov/