A second wave of coronavirus has started in the U.S. as several states have reported recent spikes in cases throughout the country.
Since last Friday, several counties in North Alabama have reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day since the pandemic began, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
“With more people going back to work and attending gatherings, we are seeing the number of COVID-19 positive cases increase,” said Wendi Raeuchle, a spokesperson for Highlands Medical Center.
Raeuchle said on Saturday 1,000 positive cases were reported in 24 hours with the number continuing to grow.
“There is a rise of positive cases in the community but not in the hospital,” said Raeuchle. “We are not seeing a spike in COVID-19 positive inpatients but are having many more people test positive without needing immediate medical attention.”
Dr. Andrew Hodges, of Scottsboro, said the increase was expected as public interaction ramped up again.
“It stands to reason we’d have more cases,” said Hodges.
Hodges said cases are going up because of increased interactions and increased testing.
“If you look at the stats, the mortality rate is dropping considerably,” said Hodges. “You would expect this as herd immunity takes effect. As a virus ‘runs through’ a community quickly, the severity tends to decrease though more people may in fact test positive.”
Dr. Hardin Coleman, of Scottsboro, said Jackson County is not seeing a second wave but its first and delayed initial spike in cases.
“This is probably multifactorial for Jackson County with an increase in testing, less delays in test results and less restriction in movement,” said Coleman. “In the past week, we have gone from an average of seven positive cases per week to 28 per week.”
Coleman said Jackson County is still in really good shape overall with a total of 122 cases out of a population of over 51,000.
“I would say our county has done an exceptional job of identifying and isolating infected individuals,” said Coleman. “We have had COVID positive individuals in local factories, medical facilities and social establishments with amazing limitations of spread by quick results and quarantine while testing those in close contact.”
Hodges said, moving forward, common sense is a superpower.
“Use it,” he said. “If you don’t have it, pray for it. Ask someone you know who has it share some insight into what common sense looks like in the face of a communicable disease. Wash your hands a lot. Don’t be a close talker. Wear a mask if a situation calls for it; don’t believe the masks makes you invincible.”
Raeuchle said people are urged to get tested if they believe they may have the virus in order to avoid exposing others.
“We strongly encourage members of our community to wear masks, wash hands and continue social distancing,” she said.
Coleman said things can change week to week with COVID-19, but for now, Jackson County remains in good shape.
“Rapid and accurate contact tracing will be the key to preventing further and future spikes, surges and waves while the primary prevention remains social distancing and strict hand cleansing while avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”