The YMCA and the UAB join forces for the town hall on the coronavirus pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – The YMCA partnered with the UAB on Thursday afternoon for a virtual town hall answering questions from the public on the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 vaccines.

People were able to submit their questions and have them personally answered by an infectious disease expert from UAB.

We’ve been in this pandemic for almost two years, and many still have more questions than answers.

That’s why the YMCA has partnered with UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Rachael Lee.

She offered her perspective on the current state of the coronavirus pandemic and answered questions about the vaccine.

“We are at a high level of community transmission, but fortunately the cases are slowly starting to decline. If you look all over the United States, of course red is bad, and you can see that about 94% of counties in the United States still have high transmission levels. If you compare that to the week before, we were seeing a lot less… or a lot more red, so I think that’s a sign that things are starting to slow down, ”Dr Lee said.

But it is too early to let our guard down.

Dr Lee said new cases of COVID are always caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“In Alabama, we do the sequencing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and about 94% is attributable to Delta. In the past few weeks, almost 100% has been attributed to this, ”explained Dr Lee.

Dr Lee said patients with the delta variant are much younger than those with the alpha variant with an average age of 29 years.

She said more work needed to be done to get young Alabamians to roll up their sleeves.

“And they were twice as likely to be hospitalized and they also used emergency departments more than alpha patients. So you can see how very overwhelming it can be for hospital systems and it can be worrying for our friends and family, especially if we are young and don’t have a lot of illnesses and it might put you at risk. at risk of hospitalization, “said Dr. Lee.

She added that there is hope in Alabama. The state no longer ranks last in the country for vaccination rates, with 65% of COVID vaccinations today from the first doses.

She also recommended masking to protect children and others who are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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