BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Health officials are worried that Alabama's coronavirus caseload is increasing and residents aren't guarding against COVID-19 as it opens its casinos, church and more.
Parking lots are filling up again outside many businesses, and in many places it's rare to see people wearing face masks.
University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban has released a video encouraging people to cover their faces and practice social distancing.
But it's unclear whether that will help, and health officials are concerned. Hospitalizations have increased since April, as have the overall number of cases in the state.
Officials say it's unclear whether the increase is linked to more testing or more disease.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.