Local leaders in Madison County held their weekly coronavirus update on Wednesday. They discussed recent talks about a second wave and how the state is handling the virus right now.
Dr. Pam Hudson said despite many counties in North Alabama being placed at high risk on the Alabama Department of Public Health's Coronavirus Risk Indicator, right now, Madison County seems to be doing a good job stopping the spread of the virus.
"Hospitalizations have begun to creep up. Today, the hospitalization number in our state is 823. That is not alarming. It is certainly well within the capability of our state hospitals, but is higher than the rate we have been seeing for the last 5 weeks or so in the low 700s," she said.
Hudson said she believes Madison County experienced it's first big wave of coronavirus over the summer when more than 100 people were hospitalized in Madison County, and the virus was spreading rapidly in the community.
"I believe the wave as it's been called that we are fearful of is that we would have another spike like we experienced here in the summer, or New York City would have like they experienced," she said.
Although the virus hasn't gone away, Hudson explained the safety measures we are taking are helping to stop transmission.
"The virus is out there and it is maybe in some people in this room. We cheat the virus by staying away from each other and masking and washing our hands. All we are trying to do is keep the transmission level down," she said.
Hudson said defining a wave can be difficult and she believes they're out there all the time. She believes what's important is not letting an uptick in cases get out of control.
"In the winter, if we have an uptick in cases, it might be a gentle wave. That's what we are trying to do. In the beginning, we talked about flattening the curve. We are trying to keep it a nice low-level undulating transmission rate in the community where we stamp out cases as they occur, and we don't get to a place where the transmission that simply doing public health measures is not enough," she said.
Madison County is at low risk on the risk indicator map that the Alabama Department of Public Health updates every Friday, but half of the counties in North Alabama are currently rated as very high risk.