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ADPH leader responds to spike in cases in Jackson, DeKalb counties

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WAFF) - COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the Tennessee Valley, but health leaders are seeing more of a spike in Jackson and DeKalb Counties.

WAFF 48 spoke to Judy Smith with the Alabama Department of Public Health about their concerns.

“It has been a double whammy for the medical community,” said Smith.

Medical staff workers have been working around the clock to ensure that people can get tested for COVID and receive the proper care in the hospital.

Smith with the Alabama Department of Health said, as a result, they have seen an increase in staffing shortages locally.

“So many of them have been sick, or they have family members that they take care of or have been exposed to patients, and they have had to be out,” said Smith.

But Smith said workers are pivotal now as cases increase. As of Monday, in Jackson County, 47.8% of all tests are coming back positive. In the past seven days, 856 cases have been reported, which is the highest seven-day total since the beginning of the pandemic.

In DeKalb County, 58.6% of all tests came back positive, which Smith says is 14 points higher than the state average right now.

“Keep in mind that people may go to different counties to get tested. Now one of the things about DeKalb and Marshall Counties is they have larger industries which have more concentration of people that will go there and get testes or leave work with symptoms,” said Smith.

The biggest takeaway, Smith said, is to see numbers decline people must stay at home if they are sick to prevent from exposing others to the virus and help reduce the spread.

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