Health officials concerned COVID-19 will spread with summer travel

COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country, including right here in Alabama.

In Tuscaloosa County, this means an average of 46 cases each day.

In Florida, at least three variants of Omicron are spreading just this week, with a seven-day daily average of more than 10,200 cases.

Though these numbers are estimated, health officials are concerned for summer travel, believing the numbers are higher because many people are overlooking their symptoms.

Dr. Keisha Lowther of Whatley Health Services said symptoms commonly attributed to seasonal allergies and colds have just as good a chance of being COVID-19.

“If you don’t know and you continue to spread it in the community, you continue to be out in public at church, the grocery stores at concerts, weddings and that runny nose, that cough, that throat irritation that you are saying may be allergies may actually be COVID.  So, that is contributing to why we’re continuing to see it spread in the community,” she said.

Rising numbers in Florida concern health officials in town because many Alabamians spend their vacations in the Sunshine State.

Lowther recommends getting a COVID-19 test before you go and after you return.

“Especially if they were in crowded areas where they were walking around unmasked.”

Trey James said he and his family plan to vacation in Orlando, Florida in July. Rising case numbers are inspiring him to pack a few extra precautions.

“Its a little alarming.  I never really stopped doing the things necessary to make sure I stayed protected throughout the entire time of pandemic,” he said, always carrying a few extra masks around with him just in case.

Because you can still get COVID-19 even if you’re vaccinated, Dr. Lowther emphasized the importance of wearing masks even if you’re fully vaccinated.

“We continue to provide testing services and we’re continuing to encourage the community to go ahead and get your vaccine,” she said.

For information on COVID-19 and vaccinations, visit Whatley Health Services’s website.

Categories: Featured, Local News