1,004,622. That’s how many Alabamians have contracted the COVID-19 virus since the pandemic began in March 2020. One in five residents.
Sixteen thousand six hundred forty-one of the state’s residents have died from the disease, according to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health’s coronavirus dashboard.
The highly contagious omicron variant has fueled the recent rise in cases, although the more deadly delta variant is still hanging around in the state.
In one bright note, doctors have reason to hope cases of the omicron variant will ease off in the next couple of weeks. The variant is so virulent that it essentially burns itself out, infecting so many people in a community that it has nowhere to go. In South Africa, where the virus first was noted, and some other countries, the high omicron wave has flattened out in about six to eight weeks.
That’s not happening in Alabama yet, though. The state has averaged more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus a day for more than a week. There were 11,204 new cases recorded Wednesday and 11 deaths.
Across the state, 2,043 people were hospitalized with COVID as of Tuesday. With rising patient loads and dwindling staff as workers are infected with the disease, hospitals are starting to feel the strain.
Still, only 48.4% of Alabama’s population are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s coronavirus resource center.
That’s the second-lowest rate in the U.S., followed only by Wyoming.
Alabama’s positivity rates, meaning the rate of COVID tests that show a positive result, is 41.1%. That is the second-highest positivity rate in the country, followed only by New Jersey.
In Jefferson County, the positivity rate is 41.6%. The county has had 145,464 cases since the pandemic began and 2,034 deaths. That’s 1,717 new cases reported Wednesday but no new deaths.
In total, 62,308,132 people across the U.S. have been infected with coronavirus since the pandemic began.