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Williamson: COVID-19 numbers moving in the right direction

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

The number of new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are declining, but still not where they were pre-omicron.

“There’s no question, things are moving in the right direction,” Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, told Capitol Journal Friday.

As of Sunday, there were 1,113 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. In late January, an omicron spike led to 2,961 daily hospitalizations. That’s a decline of more than 62% in less than a month.

The statewide positivity rate of COVID-19 tests remains at 10.6%, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Under 5% is the target.

“At that level, we would say we have pretty good community control,” Williamson said. “We’re not there yet.”

In January, the positivity rate was nearly 50%.

The segment with Dr. Williamson begins at 46:51.

“I think we need to celebrate and be realistic about where we are and that is that things are much better. But we shouldn’t assume omicron and COVID are through with us. We may be through with them, but I’m not sure they’re through with us.”

Williamson said the state is now seeing the total impact of the omicron variant.

About 1,100 people died in the last six weeks, 425 of them in the last two weeks, he said. Hospitals are still reporting about 30 deaths per day.

COVID will likely be part of life for years to come, Williamson said. He continues to recommend vaccinations and masks in certain situations.

Williamson said COVID will be part of life for years to come and continues to recommend vaccinations. 

About hospital staffs around the state, Williamson said: 

“Everyone is tired, they’re exhausted, they’re looking for a break.” 

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