HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — We’re nearly two years since the pandemic began and Alabama could be saying goodbye to 2021 with the highest COVID-19 numbers the state has ever seen.

According to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health, the number of cases reported in Alabama and the positivity rate are now the highest COVID-19 numbers the state has ever recorded during this whole pandemic.

Medical experts say these are both signs that point to the state ringing in the new year with a never-before-seen COVID-19 surge.

“We do know that the Omicron was believed to be much more transmissible and this is showing that,” Corey Kirkland, Public Health Administrator for ADPH said.

On Thursday, the state reached a point in the pandemic never seen before, with the COVID-19 positivity rate reaching 31.4%, the first time the state has seen this percentage above 30.

“There is more disease out there,” Kirkland said. “The level of community transmission is higher than the likelihood you have an interaction with someone who may be positive.”

That likelihood is looking to increase more, with ADPH recording 8,256 new COVID-19 cases, on Thursday, the most ever reported in a day. This number, causing the state’s COVID-19 case average to increase 368%.

“This is probably a mixture of the two,” Kirkland said. “I don’t know to what degree each one is mixing now in the state but we do know it’s a mixture of the two. We know at least one of them causes severe illness and hospitalizations.

Nearly one in three COVID tests performed in Alabama is coming back positive for the virus leading the state’s positivity rate to increase by 209% in the last nine days. Despite the increase of COVID-19 in the state hospitalizations due to the virus haven’t seen as much of an increase.

“There is a likely hood that hospitalizations are going to follow that trend,” Kirkland said. “We don’t know for sure but we have seen some uptick in it statewide.”

The number of people in Alabama being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals around the state increased by 200 people since Monday.

Medical experts tell WDHN with the 720 patients now fighting COVID in hospitals in the state, Alabamians can expect this number to rise as cases continue to increase. This is why they want people to continue being safe.

“Just remembering those basic things using your hand sanitizer distancing in line,” Kirkland said.

Medical experts stress breaking these daily COVID-19 records is nothing to be proud of. In order to help not only protect yourself but the whole community, they want people in the Wiregrass to take the COVID-19 surge we are currently witnessing in the state, seriously.