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Doctors link rise in COVID-19 case numbers to pandemic fatigue

Updated: May. 1, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State health leaders are urging vaccinations as the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has increased to 5.5%. That is the highest it’s been since early March. The state has seen also a 1% increase in cases in just the last two weeks and state health leaders say they think many different factors are the cause.

“I think we have had a number of factors,” Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department said. “Probably the biggest factor now that is influencing our slight increase is that people are just tired of this.”

She said it’s hard to directly link the rise in cases to the end of the mask mandate on April 9th. She said the length of the pandemic is the main reason numbers are growing again.

“People are tired of not being able to do the activities they want to do,” Landers said. “They are tired of wearing masks and they really just want to get back to normal. I think fatigue has a lot to do with it and I certainly understand that.”

But even with pandemic fatigue, Dr. Landers said you can’t let your guard down. She says it’s important to take safety measures now, while case numbers are low enough to go back down.

“I think it is really important for people to look at where we are in Alabama and know, that we right now, in the state of Alabama, as Alabamians, have the capability to get this behind us.”

She said the only way to do that is the vaccine.

“We need to have more people vaccinated,” Landers said. “We need for persons to continue to follow preventative measures.”

Landers said the state is calling on health care providers to continue encouraging and educating about the vaccines.

“Remind people that this is medical advice to take this vaccine in order to protect yourself and get us back to a sense of normal.”

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