UAB Infectious Disease Doctor warns that pandemic is not over for Alabamians

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– Alabama saw the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. That number, 639. Infectious disease experts say the continuing upward trend of COVID-19 cases in Alabama is a little concerning.

UAB infectious diseases physician Rachael Lee, M.D is attributing the increase to a couple of different factors.

“Part of that may be due to relaxing some restrictions, part of it may be not wearing masks in public, or having larger events which is what we would be concerned about for Memorial Day weekend,” said Dr. Lee.

Alabamians need to continue to take the virus seriously and do their part to flatten the curve even with less restrictions in place from state and local leaders.

“We talked a lot about flattening the curve before and we’ve been really able to do that as a state to be able to make sure we’ve had the ICU beds to make sure we can take care of these patients,” said Dr. Lee.

But if people don’t take it upon themselves to take safety precautions, Alabama could see spikes.

“I completely understand about having the freedom to choose and I hope that people choose to wear a mask to protect you and to protect your loved ones,” said Dr. Lee.

Dr. Lee said some people might be under the false impression that the virus will die off during the warm months, so they don’t have to be diligent.

“What we’ve probably heard in the media is that UV can kill coronaviruses so therefore we should be okay in the summer. I don’t think we can say that based on the recent study that saw from a geographical standpoint. Even places that have higher temperatures, they were still having cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee.

There is a lot at stake in being smart about COVID-19 precautions. The country’s leading infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said the game-plan is there to prevent a second wave

“If we do the kinds of things that we’re putting in place now, to have the workforce, the system, and the will to do the kinds of things that ought to be clear and effective; identification, isolation, and contact tracing, we can prevent this second wave that we’re talking about, if we do it correctly,” said Fauci.

Dr. Lee says Americans need to be prepared for the potential of another wave of COVID-19 cases in the fall.