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Alabama COVID hospitalizations decline as omicron peaks

After weeks of the omicron variant sweeping the state, Alabama’s COVID-19 situation appears to be improving.

The latest data from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association showed 2,288 hospitalized with COVID, 46 of those being children. That’s down more than 680 hospitalizations from the omicron peak of 2,961 on January 25.

Alabama Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state appears to be on the downslope of its COVID-19 omicron peak and “heading the right way.”

“Our case counts have been going down the last week or 10 days, and we’re starting to see that reflected in the hospitalization numbers,” Harris said on Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal on Friday. “(But) we’re still way ahead of where we were even a couple of months ago.” 

Harris said the state now has two oral medications that have kept high-risk populations out of the hospital if they are infected. He said that while vaccinated and masked people can go about a lot of normal activities, there is still a risk, especially for the unvaccinated.

“The reason for getting the shot is that it reduces your chances of getting seriously sick or dying,” he said.

The state’s seven-day average positivity rate is about 29%, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 dashboard.

The interview with Dr. Harris begins at 44:30.

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