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(WHNT) — North Alabama health officials are now having to keep tabs on both COVID-19 and the flu heading into the holidays.

Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health and Morgan County Health Department says cases for the flu are on the rise compared to last year.

Stubblefield says data suggests infections will soon pass that of the 2020 winter, but are still lower than 2019. This is due in part to ongoing health precautions, but Stubblefield says cases could quickly rise.

“We have seen positive influenza, confirmed influenza in all eight public health districts across the state,” Stubblefield told News 19. “We do know that it is happening. The numbers are going up. We have had influenza-related hospitalizations already.”

Another point of concern for ADPH – fewer Alabamians are getting their seasonal flu shot.

Health officials say pharmacies and clinics are currently offering this year’s flu vaccines for free.