Coronavirus

JeffCo, Birmingham spend federal money on housing assistance, other needs

More than $359 million in federal dollars flowed through the hands of Jefferson County and Birmingham city officials in the past two years.

Exhaustion and nervousness after 2 years of COVID in Alabama

March 13 marked two years since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Alabama. Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said we're in a good place now, but there's concern of another surge.

Key COVID moments in the Gulf South 2 years later

On the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look back at the Gulf States Newsroom’s coverage of the infectious disease’s impact on the Gulf South region.

Vestavia Hills schools and city face a lawsuit for allegedly withholding public information

The Vestavia Hill City Schools along with the superintendent and the city face a lawsuit alleging they’re improperly withholding public information on COVID-19 masking and safety protocols. The lawsuit was filed by two parents last month.

EXPLAINER: COVID vaccines for kids under 5: What’s next?

COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 may be available in the U.S. as early as March, but there are several hurdles still to clear.

Omicron is less severe, but it’s overwhelming Alabama’s hospitals

The omicron variant leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths, but the variant is infecting more people than any previous surge.

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Some parents express frustration with schools’ responses to the omicron surge

As students across Birmingham return to classrooms after the winter break, schools must contend with the COVID-19 omicron variant. With cases surging, WBHM heard from some parents who are frustrated with the response from school leaders.

State Health Officer warns Alabama is ‘not in a good place’ fighting the Omicron variant

During a media call Tuesday, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Alabama is seeing the highest new daily case numbers of the pandemic.

As much of the Gulf South remains unvaccinated, New Orleans issues a mandate for kids

The city will expand its mandate in 2022 to include children 5 and older. The city health director said “there was no good scientific or educational reason to wait.”

First case of omicron variant in Alabama has been confirmed

Alabama has confirmed its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to the state health officer.

Tips for a happy, safe and COVID-free Thanksgiving from Gulf South health officials

Hosting a family gathering for Thanksgiving but worried about COVID transmission? Health officials offer these tips for a happy, safe holiday.

An unlikely place, Lowndes County, has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Alabama

At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Lowndes County was one of the hardest hit places in Alabama. So when the vaccine became available, doses were rushed to Lowndes and other Black Belt counties by the federal government.

How outreach helped Gulf States outpace national COVID vaccine rate for Black residents

COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black residents in the Gulf States are surpassing that of Black residents in the U.S. Health officials say building trust has been key to reaching this point.

COVID vaccines for young children could be approved soon. Are Gulf States prepared?

Kids between the ages of 5-11 years old might be able to get vaccinated in the near future. Here’s why it would be a game-changer for the Gulf States, and how they’re preparing for the shot’s rollout.

Alabama Will Follow CDC Guidelines For COVID-19 Booster Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has authorized a third shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups.

Yes, It Is Safe To Get The COVID And Flu Vaccines At The Same Time

Alabama is gearing up for flu season. Health professionals say it's okay to get the COVID-19 vaccine in conjunction with the flu vaccine.

You Know Delta, But Have You Met Mu And The Rest Of The Relatives?

Researchers say there always will be new variant strains of the COVID-19 virus, although all the strains won’t be as deadly as delta.

Alabama Hospitals Hit Plateau With COVID Patients But Facilities Still In Crisis

Alabama still has more ICU patients than available beds. Hospital officials need more nurses too.

As COVID Rages On, Gulf States Hospitals And Their Staff Look For A Helping Hand

As a field hospital closes up shop in Mississippi this weekend, the state, along with Louisiana and Alabama, still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country as the pandemic looks to be far from over.

COVID Policies Vary By School District, Causing Confusion For Parents

The state of Alabama has issued recommendations to school districts on how to handle COVID-19 in the classroom. But many of them are just recommendations, giving districts lots of flexibility in setting their own COVID-19 protocols.

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COVID Infusion Therapy Effective At Reducing Severity Of Disease — If You Get It Soon Enough

Monoclonal antibody therapy does not work unless it is given in the first 10 days of COVID symptoms, according to health experts.

Alabama Hits New Mark With More Than 700,000 COVID-19 Cases

“If you take all of the ICU beds in Alabama and how many beds are being used right now, we actually have a net negative - which is unheard of," said Dr. Rachael Lee, a UAB infectious disease expert.

Amid ICU Shortage, Alabama Hospitals See Record-Breaking Pediatric Caseload

Alabama's hospitals are caring for more children with COVID-19 than ever before, the latest development in an increasingly dire situation for the state's health care system.

What You Need To Know About Pregnancy, Fertility And The COVID-19 Vaccine

More pregnant women are getting sick with COVID-19 as the delta variant surges in Alabama. Meanwhile, health professionals are trying to combat misinformation surrounding the vaccine and pregnancy. WBHM spoke with two doctors from UAB. Here's what we learned.

Alabama’s Frontline Providers: ‘We Are Overworked And We Are Frustrated’

Amid a fourth, more rapid surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Alabama health care providers share stories from inside hospitals across the state.

Health Official Warns About The Danger Of Being In Crowds As High School Football Fully Kicks Off

High school football games are set to fully kick off this week. Health experts say you should continue to wear a mask even if you're fully vaccinated because these events are likely to spread COVID-19.

K-12 Students To Be Tested For COVID In Schools

Cases of COVID-19 in youth are on the rise, according to the state department of public health. A new testing program in Alabama schools hopes to combat that.

Alabama’s COVID Hospitalizations On Track To Surpass Winter Surge

State hospitals may soon be caring for more coronavirus patients than ever before. Many are already diverting resources to keep up with the surge.

Parents Urge Vestavia Hills School District To Require Masks

The Vestavia Hills school board's decision to not require masks goes against guidance from public health agencies, including state health officials.

Alabama Health Officials Say COVID-19 Vaccine Safe For Pregnant Women

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or wanting to get pregnant, says health experts.

Birmingham Hospital Leaders: COVID Surge ‘Heartbreaking … And Largely Preventable’

Statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 topped 1,700 Wednesday, fueled by the highly-contagious delta variant.