HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) — Alabama health officials say COVID-19 is starting to surge once again in the state.

For example, Huntsville Hospital reported this week that its COVID-19 patient volume is at 95 patients systemwide — and since July 4, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has been reporting a 27% increase in COVID positivity rate. 

ADPH warns that as the positive COVID numbers continue to rise due to subvariants to contend with. 

According to infectious disease experts, Madison County has only 35% of the county’s population fully vaccinated. The problem is that it doesn’t change the current state of the pandemic in north Alabama.

That means Alabama is still not out of the wood just yet.

The state has seen a 67% increase in its COVID positivity rate over the past 30 days and that’s not counting the unreported cases over the holiday weekend.  

That’s because new subvariants have appeared and as Dr. Wes Stubblefield of the ADPH notes, the variants have had a unique ability to evade immunity protections.

“Most of us out there have either had the vaccine or had the infection or have had both but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it again,” Stubblefield told News 19. “The immunity runs and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. Vaccination produces more consistent immunity and obviously, antibodies produce immunity but neither one lasts long-term.”

Stubblefield added that they were seeing about 100 cases a day during the spring months. Now there are reports of just under 2,000 cases per day.

30 states reported more cases in the week of June 28 to July 5 than in the week before, according to an analysis by John Hopkins University.

“COVID is still real and it’s still worse than the flu on average,” Stubblefield noted. “Most healthy people that fall into those high-risk conditions have a serious risk of going into the hospital and being very sick. That’s why we want people to be vaccinated and why we want them to know that there are therapies for people who get COVID and how to get to those therapies.”

Alabama continues to rank near the bottom of the country in total COVID vaccinations.