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Wiregrass counties back at “very high risk” for COVID-`19

The ADPH indicates Houston County, Geneva County, and Coffee County are all in the highest risk of the virus.
The ADPH indicates Houston County, Geneva County, and Coffee County are all in the highest risk...
The ADPH indicates Houston County, Geneva County, and Coffee County are all in the highest risk of the virus.(ADPH)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Three of five Wiregrass counties are listed as “very high risk” on the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 risk indicator dashboard. The ADPH indicates Houston County, Geneva County, and Coffee County are all in the highest risk of the virus.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said it is difficult to say on any given case what the cause behind the increase is, but he believes it is a result of the lack of people getting the vaccine. He tells News 4 there is always an area of concern when case numbers increase, which is what the Wiregrass is facing.

Alabama is seeing between 120 and 150 COVID patients a day in hospitals, more than 95 percent of those hospitalized patients are not vaccinated.

“People still really need to get vaccinated, they urgently need to get vaccinated, we need to put a stop to this before it redevelops as a variant that takes off to a place that we don’t want to see,” Dr. Harris said.

Alabama is in a better place when fighting against this virus because of the vaccine, according to Dr. Harris.

The states fully vaccinated population sits at roughly 32 percent. Over 1.8 million people have had at least one shot of the vaccine and Dr. Harris said half a million people who have been infected with the virus have some sense of immunity.

“However, if you are an unvaccinated person I don’t think the world is a much different today than it was six months ago for you,” Dr. Harris said. “People who are seniors, people who have chronic health problems you know you need to be aware that there is still a deadly disease that is circulating in our state, it’s coming from virtually every county every day.”

Dr. Harris said Alabama is unlikely to see the kind of outbreak the state faced in December and January.

“The actual magnitude of that increase has not been that much,” Dr. Harris said. “We’re not seeing huge increases at all, not big numbers in that part of the state (southeast) or anywhere else right now. We are fortunate that hospitalizations and overall case numbers are better than they have been in a long time.”

Dr. Harris is also concerned with the Delta variant emerging. The state of Alabama has detected less than 20 cases of this variant, but dr. Harris said the current outbreak in Missouri cannot be ignored.

He said the vaccine is about 80 plus percent effective against the Delta variant and 94 percent effective against the original COVID strain.

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