The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Alabama is going down drastically and healthcare providers are working to keep the good news in perspective. The medical community thinks a combination of vaccinations, mask wearing, and the end of the holiday surge are reasons for lower case load.
Dr. Thomas Weida practices at University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. He said even getting a vaccination doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
“Even if you’re vaccinated, the recommendation is to continue wearing a mask, and to be cautious about eating indoors with large crowds, getting together with large crowds," Weida said. "You still need to follow those protocols, because we haven’t conquered COVID yet.”
Weida is concerned that the lower number of new cases might dampen enthusiasm for people to get a vaccination. He said there’s a 2 percent chance of dying from COVID-19 and no chance of dying of the coronavirus vaccine. Weida added that the effort to control the coronavirus is still ongoing, especially with new variants appearing in the state. He said the medical community hasn’t eliminated COVID-19 and people still need to wear masks and social distance.
“A lot of times with these viral infections, they wax and wane," Weida said. "So we had a surge, we might be in a low point, and then it may pick up again as immunity starts to wane, and people could get re-infected. So, very important to get a vaccine anyway.”
Weida said a combination of mask wearing, vaccinations, and the end to the holiday surge caused by greater levels of travel and family gatherings is leading the to lower numbers.