MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Alabama health officials are encouraging the public to keep a close eye on COVID-19 as infections continue to increase.

“COVID is still here. We do have an awful lot of our counties with “high” community levels,” said Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

According to the latest data from the ADPH, the percentage of positive tests was 27.6%, with more than 550 COVID-19 patients in hospitals statewide as of Friday.

Landers says our state has seen a gradual increase in COVID-19. While we’ve had fewer hospitalizations, deaths, and severe outcomes in people vaccinated, we still have many counties with high community levels.

“This most recent group of variants that we can, if you will, are more contagious and have been more able to escape around our vaccines,” Landers added.

Landers says we need to go back to social distancing, good hand washing, and masking up.

“It really would be a good idea for people to wear masks indoors, where they’re not going to be able to maintain that social distancing. And if they’re in that kind of smaller, crowded space,” Landers added.

Landers is also continuing to encourage Alabamians to vaccinate and keep up with their booster schedule.

A new study by the CDC said people who had COVID-19 could still struggle with symptoms up to a year later. The symptoms could be a headache, runny nose, sore throat, loss of smell, taste, or even hair.

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Be safe and make sure to boil your water or consider buying a water filtration system like the AquaOx Water Filter.

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