COVID is still with us, so don’t ignore symptoms or delay treatment


CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reminds Alabamians that despite improved case, hospitalization and death numbers, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and precautions such as wearing masks and staying up to date on vaccinations can help protect against severe illness.

Slightly more than half of Alabama’s residents are vaccinated, and some residents who have been previously infected have acquired immunity, yet it is unknown whether and when new variants will arrive and how harmful they will be.

As soon as symptoms occur, people should take a COVID-19 test or see a healthcare provider to discuss their eligibility for therapeutic treatments. Some treatments for COVID-19, including oral antivirals, should be taken within five days of the beginning of symptoms for the pills to be effective.

COVID-19 tests can be performed at pharmacies, doctors' offices, urgent care clinics or health departments. One convenient way to test for COVID-19 is to have home tests available. Two sets of free at home COVID-19 tests are available at no cost through

Getting vaccinated is critically important, but vaccine protection decreases over time. Even in times of low community transmission, there are risks for older and immunocompromised persons to become severely ill with COVID-19 because their immune systems are less robust than others’. Check with your healthcare provider to make sure your vaccinations are current.

Community levels of COVID-19 can help guide your decisions about risk. When community levels of COVID-19 are medium or high, masks can be important ways to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets. Persons who have low immune systems or care for persons who are immunocompromised, may wear masks for extra protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance on community levels by county at the links below.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1.3 million cases of COVID-19 in Alabama residents and 19,524 Alabamians have died from COVID-19, including 2,786 who have died in 2022.

COVID-19 data can be viewed by visiting the COVID Data Tracker and



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.