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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama is currently facing the highest number of positive COVID-19 tests since February.

Around 9 percent across the state are testing positive for the virus with PCR tests, which is considered the most accurate one on the market, putting Alabama among the top 5 states in the nation for its COVID-19 positivity rate.

“Protect yourself, protect your family, protect your loved ones, protect your community, get vaccinated,” said Dr. Karen Landers of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “We are talking about the spread of a deadly virus for which we have safe, effective, free and readily available vaccine.”

New coronavirus cases in the state eclipsed 1400 on Wednesday alone, the third time since the start of July that the state has reached 1000 cases in a single day.

“We absolutely must look at where we are in Alabama. We are back trending in a very bad direction because we have such low vaccination numbers and again persons who aren’t vaccinated are not following mitigation standards,” stated Dr. Landers.

Health care experts are particularly concerned about the Delta strain of COVID-19, thought to make up around 70 percent of recent positive tests.

Dr. Landers is worried that the state’s low vaccination rate could potentially help the coronavirus to mutate into a strain far worse.

“Right now we don’t have a variant yet that has completely escaped the vaccine, but we can, and each time someone is infected, it’s an opportunity for the virus to mutate,” Landers concluded.