Birmingham, Ala.WIAT) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday all vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors to limit the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to skyrocket across the country. In Alabama, the majority of hospitalizations are for people who have not been vaccinated.
Alabama experts like Dr. Michael Saag with UAB say he isn’t shocked the CDC made this recommendation and believes they should have made it several days ago. He, along with other experts in the medical community, believe the public had all the tools to make sure another surge didn’t happen.
“I’m disappointed we’re back there, but not shocked because in a lot of ways this is all predictable,” Dr. Saag said. “People are congregating in large groups. And you put all of that together and you get a lot of transmission, which is exactly what we see.”
However, some medical professionals are happy to see that the CDC requires indoor masks.
“And we have the power to do that. And I’m just hoping and encouraged to believe that these are measures that will help with that,” Dr. Celeste Reese Willis said.
Dr. Saag worries that if the current spike in cases continues, it could be very bad for hospitals and the general public.
“It could exceed our worst number of cases that we saw back in January,” Dr. Saag said.
Experts believe that masks should be added to the protection offered by the Delta variant, based on data last year.
“If you recall last year, when they started the mask ordinance, the cases went down,” Dr. Reese Willis said.
This is because many in the medical industry hope it is a wake up call.
“I would hope that people looking around and seeing the numbers spiking and the recommendation that everyone should wear masks, that should be enough,” Dr. Saag.
“People should just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” Dr. Saag said.
Dr. Saag encourages Alabamians not vaccinated to get the shot as soon and as often as possible. CBS 42 reached out for more information to Jefferson County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Wilson, but he was unable comment on Tuesday.