MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-- Local health leaders fear a significant jump in new COVID-19 cases recently could grow to be even worse than what we saw when coronavirus cases peaked this past summer if we don't get a handle on it soon.
“Those that have questions around whether masks work or that COVID is some kind of conspiracy... that is just not under discussion anymore.”
The head of the Mobile County Health Department’s COVID response team, Dr. Scott Chavers, has a stern message for people who are not taking COVID-19 seriously:
“How many people do you have to put in the hospital? How many people do you have to put in a morgue before you get it? That you need to be wearing a mask and you need to be socially distanced,” said Dr. Chavers who, along with other health leaders, is alarmed by a rapid rise in new COVID-19 cases locally.
“We are seeing increases in all of our matrix meaning there is no good news right now on the COVID-19 front.”
He says in the past week there’s been a steady trend not seen in a while, hitting 120-130+ new cases everyday.
On Friday the Alabama Department of Public Health marked Mobile County as a “high risk” area.
“Just to be frank the reason why we’re seeing an increase in cases, hospitalizations and death is because people are not doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Dr. Chavers.
Dr. Chavers fears if we don’t get a grip on COVID now things will worsen come flu season's peak in just a couple of months.
“What we’re very concerned about is that we’re gonna overwhelm the hospital systems. The hospitals here in Mobile are right on the edge… and if we keep going like we’re going we’re gonna overwhelm them and we’re gonna see mortality go up,” he said.
With Thanksgiving just days away health leaders encourage people to get tested for COVID-19 and get a flu shot before Thanksgiving gatherings, reminding people to wear masks and social distance from people who don’t live in the same household.
They say it’s best not to be around elderly or high risk family members to prevent getting them sick.