ADPH provides update as COVID-19 cases surge

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the state, the Alabama Department of Public Health says the number of hospitalizations has also grown dramatically.

Last month, less than 200 people were being hospitalized for Covid-19 statewide. That number now sits at more than 1800.

“The virus is not the same virus we were seeing last year or really even two months ago,” said Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama State Health Officer.

On Friday, Dr. Harris urged people to get the vaccine as the Delta variant of the coronavirus drives up cases across Alabama.

“With all the variants that we have seen circulating in our country the vaccines are safe for you to take and they are effective at preventing disease,” Dr. Harris.

The ADPH says over 95 percent of those now hospitalized for Covid-19 are unvaccinated, and the growing number of cases is putting added pressure on hospitals. 95 percent of the state’s intensive care unit beds are now occupied. Dr. Harris said he is worried that without more people vaccinated statewide, the virus will continue to mutate, and potentially create a far more dangerous variant than Delta.

“I hope it’s later rather than sooner and I can imagine a situation where our vaccines may not be effective, I mean that’s the thing we all dread that could happen someday, so instead of us having to get to that point lets try to stop disease transmission now. Please get vaccinated as soon as you can,” said Dr. Harris.

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