Alabama health leaders reflect on one million COVID-19 deaths

 Alabama health leaders reflect on one million COVID-19 deaths

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – One million. That number is how many Americans lost their lives to COVID-19.

President Joe Biden ordered half -staff flags on Thursday, warning against global complacency.

In Jefferson County, there were nearly 2,400 deaths that officials said they knew of.

To put a million people in sight, Jefferson County Deputy Health Officer Dr. David Hicks said it was like erasing the towns of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Mobile and Hoover from the map.

Alabama health leaders say we are a long way from where we started in March 2020.

“We have more tools now than ever before, but it’s something we can never ignore,” Hicks said. “We have to feel like we’re in a better position than ever with the tools we have and there are a lot of different options out there.”

According to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, these tools can help slow the death rate across the state.

“If we can make sure our hospitals are not overburdened then I think we will be content. That’s probably as good as we can be, ”Harris said. “I just hope it stays that way.”

Harris is worried about a recent explosion in cases-the overall seven-day positivity rate has risen one and a half percent from Tuesday.

“If you’re a high -risk person, please talk to your doctor about these options to avoid infection or treat yourself early if you become infected,” Harris said.

Hicks and Harris told CBS 42 that they are watching this latest spread in our communities.

“You don’t want to get sick to go to the hospital, you don’t want to be put on a ventilator, you don’t want to die,” Hicks said. “If we can stop that from happening, we’ll all be better off in society.”

According to Hicks, many local people say they have allergies and sniffles now. He said it’s important to check out with the doctor to make sure it’s not the flu or COVID. Both officials said now is the time to get vaccinated as we have not yet had many cases.

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