Alabama health officials 'shivering in our boots' as concerts, rallies go on amid delta's spread

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Health officials in North Alabama are concerned that a recent music festival and an upcoming rally could lead to more COVID-19 infections in the state, according to Al.com.

An outdoor music festival, Rock the South, took place in Cullman, Ala., Aug. 13-14. Additionally, an outdoor rally featuring former President Donald Trump is set to take place at the same venue of Rock the South on Aug. 17.

Judy Smith, administrator of the Alabama Department of Public Health Northern District, told Al.com, "We are absolutely shivering in our boots." She said there is "great concern" that the events will increase COVID-19 infections in the area, which has a low vaccination rate, according to the report.

Aug. 16 data from The New York Times indicates that only 27 percent of residents in Cullman County are fully vaccinated. Hospitalizations in Cullman County have increased 218 percent in the past 14 days, while deaths have remained at the same level.

Other large outdoor events in the nation, such as Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival that took place July 29-Aug. 1, have sparked concerns about large crowds becoming superspreader events for the highly transmissible delta variant. 

Data from Lollapalooza found that 203 out of 385,000 attendees tested positive for COVID-19, according to ABC 7. The event required proof of vaccination or a negative test. In Chicago's Cook County, 57.5 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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