State Health Officer talks COVID-19 safety amid protests, sports practices, and summer activities

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris is reminding Alabamians to continue taking health safety measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

As protests continue around the nation, COVID-19 continues to be a dangerous threat as large groups of people gather together.

“For people who are participating in protests, just remember that being within six feet of another person can put you at risk of disease transmission if someone else is infected,” Harris said. “If they’re out, make sure that they’re wearing masks and face coverings, that they’re staying at least six feet away from other people who are not from their own household, and to be very careful about sanitation and hygiene.”

Health experts are also concerned that people who may not know that they have COVID-19 might unknowingly infect others.

“Remember that somewhere between a quarter and a third of all people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms,” Harris told WDHN. “Many people may be out not even realizing that they’re infected and that they could be infectious to others.”

In Alabama, COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with the state seeing more than 18,000 confirmed cases.

“For the past several days, we’ve added around 500 new cases per day,” Harris said. “We think some of that number could be accounted for by increased testing, but certainly not all of it. We certainly think that there is ongoing community transmission going on in several parts of the state as well as several outbreaks or hot spots as well.”

According to Harris, hotspots include long-term care facilities as seen in Tuscaloosa, Hale, and Butler counties. A significant amount of cases have also been identified in poultry processing plants in locations such as Walker County and Franklin County.

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