Alabama sees highest one-day positive COVID-19 tests, demand for testing

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Alabama is reporting its highest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic at 8,256 in the last 24 hours.

This surge in positive cases is causing an increased demand for testing at places like Cahaba Medical Care. This week they had to bring back a curbside testing unit. On Wednesday, Cahaba officials said they tested 60 people before 10 a.m. with a line well beyond that.

The health department is reporting a positivity rate of 31.4 percent with every county at high risk. Medical professionals say all numbers are going the wrong way.

“I think it’s kind of that perfect storm of availability and transmission and all of the things you don’t want when you’ve got a virus circulating,” Dr. Wes Stubblefield from the health department said.

Stubblefield said a combination of a very infectious variant, being around people for the holidays and only half of Alabamians being immunized makes this happen.

“We’ve been very busy,” JohnQueta Bailey-Archie said. “There’s a lot of people getting tested because they have probably been around someone that has tested positive or the fear of I may be positive.”

Bailey-Archie said they’ve done 200 COVID tests since Christmas.

“We are delighted that we are able to bring this service to the community for persons that need to get tested and also if they still want to get vaccinated,” Bailey-Archie said.

Stubblefield is hopeful for a healthier 2022.

“The thing we’re looking forward to and anxiously awaiting is when we start seeing the downslope,” he said. “Will it be quickly or will it be a while? We just don’t know.”

Stubblefield said the health department is providing any information it can about Omicron and keeping the community safe, but he said the state health department can only make recommendations on the medical side. Asking for changes in capacity sizes he said have to come from executive leadership.

CBS 42 sent a request to the governor’s office to see if any changes may be put in place to lessen the spread and has not heard back.

Cahaba Medical Care offers testing and vaccines Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. without an appointment with a lunch break from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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