Senator Doug Jones holds press conference with UAB Infectious Disease Specialist

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo and Alabama Senator Doug Jones held a press conference Wednesday morning where they covered everything pandemic related’ from the holidays to the state’s access to two promising vaccines.

Senator Jones opened the press conference saying as a state we are seeing a “dangerous” rise in cases.

Tuesday, the ADPH announced there were over 1,600 new cases and 52 deaths.

As COVID-19 numbers continue to spike across the country, Alabama senator Doug jones and UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo made it clear Wednesday — Alabama is no exception.

“I think our numbers are high because we are simply continuing to experience really borderline out of control community transmission. We’re reflecting this in the number of cases we’re seeing, and the number of hospitalizations and the number of people who die,” Marrazzo said.

“These high tests are not just simply because we’re testing more people. It is because of community spread,” Jones added.

The pair went on to discuss the dangers associated with traveling over the holidays, especially for young people, who are more likely to spread the virus and be A-symptomatic.

“That could set schools up for an incubation phase right after thanksgiving that could be very explosive. That’s why behavior over the holiday and the break is so important if we want to have any semblance of a tolerable December going into another holiday season,” Marrazzo.

Dr. Marrazzo brought to light studies of success for the first outpatient COVID-19 treatment that was approved by the FDA as an emergency use treatment earlier this month, Bamlanivimab.

“We now will have access to at least probably about a thousand doses or so of this medication. WE hope to be able to treat people at about that rate per week in Alabama. Marrazzo said, “Really excited to try to start using that so that we can keep people out of the hospital, especially given the concern of our hospital capacity.”

She also said both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine results look incredibly promising and could even be available to some essential healthcare workers in Alabama by the end of the year.

“I don’t want the good news to change anybody’s behavior right yet. In fact, I would like people to continue behaving as if we do not have a vaccine, because in reality we don’t have a vaccine yet and we wont have a vaccine for everybody probably until well into 2021,” she said.

“Hopefully, as we move forward we will get these vaccines, we will keep it under control but right now it’s still on us. It is all on us to keep this virus under control for everyone to have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving and on into the Holiday season,” Jones agreed.

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