State issues COVID-19 testing, vaccination updates

Published 10:09 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

By Dr. Karen Landers

Alabama Department of Public Health

 

With the start of school, colds and viruses get around. Plan now to get immunized for COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to reduce your risk of becoming ill and spreading viruses to others. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will let the public know once new vaccines are available, who is eligible, and schedules for fall. For now, keep up preventative measures including hand washing and staying home when sick. 

Even though fewer Alabamians have been seeing their healthcare providers with flu-like illnesses, COVID-19 testing, and immunization clinics are still offered at county health departments statewide. Vaccine information can be found at www.vaccines.gov

For this season, only one COVID-19 booster is expected. If you have COVID-19, treatments can reduce your risk of hospitalization and death.

People who are more likely to get very sick include:

  • Adults 50 years and older. Risk increases with age.
  • People who are not vaccinated.
  • People with certain medical conditions. These include chronic lung disease, heart disease, or weakened immune systems.

Contact a healthcare provider right away to see if you should be treated. That’s even if your symptoms are mild.

  • Start treatment within days after you first get symptoms.
  • Medications must be prescribed by a healthcare provider.
  • Only take products that are approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.

To help individuals understand how to deal with positive COVID-19 tests, the following tool was created. This is to help people follow quarantine and isolation guidance. Information is given at this link: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html

The guidance provided in the link above does not apply to people who are moderately or severely ill or immunocompromised.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 quarantine, and isolation calculator can be found by visiting www.emergency.cdc.gov/newsletters/coca/032522

This calculator provides important information about precautions people with COVID-19 and their close contacts can take to protect others and slow the spread of COVID-19.