Days before the current mask mandate expires, Southeast Health hits 100 COVID-19 deaths

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Chief Medical Officer of Southeast Health, Dr. Charles Harkness, wants the public to know that COVID-19 has not gone away.

“We’ve seen overall on the inpatient side it’s pretty steady, and uh bit of a decrease in total number cases coming in so that’s a good thing, but it’s still steady, that’s probably the most important thing, we still have not seen COVID go away,” said Harkness.

Since Friday, Southeast Health reported 5 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total up to 100 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. In addition, there have been some changes in who they are seeing the virus affect.

“The population seems to be a little bit healthier that are getting COVID now than were getting it before, but it’s still when you are in that susceptible group if you get COVID it’s a deadly disease,” Said Harkness.

Harkness also says most of the COVID-19 cases seen now are coming out of southeast Alabama, as opposed to a few months ago when most cases were coming from Florida and Georgia.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis, just lifted all COVID-19 precautions in order to help the state’s economy, this coming just days before Governor Kay Ivey is set to address her current mask mandate.

“What Florida did to me is a bit of an experiment,” said Harkness. “If the governor decided to open up, I hope people will still follow the rules because the science hasn’t changed, regardless of what we do, we know how this illness is passed and we still don’t have a cure for it.”

As we get closer to flu season Southeast Health encourages the public to control what they can by getting the flu shot so as to help prevent getting the flu and COVID at the same time.

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