Madison County is again considered at Very HighRisk for spreading coronavirus.
Alabama's Department of Public Health updated the risk map late Friday (Learn more HERE). It goes against what we've repeatedly heard from community leaders who said the worst could be past us.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said increasing positive cases at long-term care facilities could be playing a major role in the increase in cases.
"We have had some long-term care facilities that have started universal testing, and when you have universal testing you're going to have an increase in the number of cases just in those particular entities," she said.
The WAAY 31 I-TEAM learned about multiple nursing homes in Madison County reporting dozens of active cases of coronavirus and many deaths under investigation.
"An increase in number of cases in an entity can affect your overall indicators in a county," she said.
Landers said following the Safer at Home order and statewide masking is still a must.
"It is certainly not a time because we see an indicator perhaps trying to creep back up that we say we aren't doing any good. We must stay the course. We must absolutely continue to do this," she said.
Landers said despite Madison County being back in Very High Risk, she thinks students heading back to class this month should be safe.
"Based upon the information we have right now, it would be a reasonable choice if the school makes such a choice as long as they are continuing the preventative measures if you look at what is happening overall in the hospital setting as well as the setting of patients," she explained.