Currently, 197,946 Americans have died from the deadly COVID-19 virus. Deaths in the United States make up roughly 20% of total coronavirus deaths in the world.

The CDC projects that COVID deaths will surpass 200,000 by the beginning of next week.

ADPH has reported that 142,863 Alabamians have tested positive for COVID-19 since March and 2,428 deaths. There have been 1,410 in Jackson County and nine deaths.

CDC projections predict total deaths in Alabama will be over 2,500 within the next week.

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Alabama has been increasing. Currently, 10% of all COVID tests return positive in the county, this is up from an all-time low at the beginning of September. New per-day cases are also on a rise in Jackson County, up from 8.29 at the beginning of the month, now 12.14 average cases per-day.

During a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Dr. Robert Redfield, head of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that a vaccine is likely to be available in limited quantities by the end of the year; however, Redfield noted that widespread availability of a vaccine may not come until 2021.

“I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks,” said Redfield as he held up a blue face mask, “these face masks, are the most important, powerful public health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country to embrace these face coverings.”

Redfield then stated that that facemasks are a more powerful tool against COVID than a vaccine.

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” stated Redfield.

The CDC has also adjusted its guidance for who should get tested and when. The change, announced on Friday, Sept. 18, stated that any individual who believes that they were exposed to the Coronavirus should get tested.

ADPH suggests that if you are showing systems, that you should get tested; however, if you have merely been exposed, but not showing symptoms, you should wait 3–4 days before seeking a coronavirus test.

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