State health officials issue warning as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday week, Alabama public health officials are warning everyone as the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“These are the highest numbers we have seen since back in July when we were really at maximum capacity,” said Dr. Scott Harris, the State Health Officer for Alabama.

The CDC is advising against traveling this Thanksgiving, and state health officials are warning those who are still planning on gathering, despite the pandemic.

“We don’t want this to be the last ever Thanksgiving for someone in your family like your parents or your grandparents,” said Dr. Harris.

Positive cases of COVID-19 continue to spike all across the state and nation. On Friday, Mobile County’s risk indication went up to ‘high risk.’ Local health officials are also warning of not only an increase in cases, but also hospitalizations, outbreaks, and deaths.

“This is extremely concerning to all of us in public health, and should be to you as well. In fact, CDC has come out with a recommendation against traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday because these are some of the highest number of cases, just a record number of cases reported daily,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree, with the Mobile County Health Department.

Officials are urging everyone planning on having family over for Thanksgiving, to limit the number of people, as well as follow the safety tips we know.

“What kind of Thanksgiving we’re going to go a long way in determining what December is going to look like — what type of holiday season we’re going to have,” said Dr. Harris. He added, “we don’t get a do-over on this. This is a big national holiday, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic and our numbers are worse than they have ever been during this entire response.”

If the FDA approves a vaccine, Alabama could see the first round of doses mid to late December.

Dr. Harris says the state’s mortality rate is around 1.5%.  And while that may seem low, he’s says it’s about 15 times higher than the mortality rate of the season flu.

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