TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The COVID-19 Pandemic was at the forefront of 2021 and remains in the global spotlight as the world enters the new year.

Locally, Knox County Health Officer Dr. Alan Stewart said that he’s optimistic about the world’s fight against COVID-19.

“We make our recommendations based on what we think the future holds,” Stewart said. “And right now we think that the future is somewhat less dangerous.”

As we move into 2022, Stewart is hopeful to continue to see the expansion of COVID-19 tests. He said that a lack of testing set the world back last year.

“Testing was a major problem and the lack of ability of testing was a problem,” Stewart said.

Stewart cited that the global health community accumulated months of research about COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. He said that from what he’s observed, the virus is becoming less deadly as it continues to mutate.

“What we’ve seen through 2021 is more like a science study,” Stewart said.

Stewart suggested that the COVID-19 vaccination is still the best way to fight against the virus moving forward.

“I think that the important thing that needs to be emphasized is the fact that vaccination is still important,” Stewart said.