Alabama’s COVID-19 New-Case Averages Climb to All-Time Highs Again

The upward march of COVID-19 totals for new cases and deaths continues in Alabama, which led Gov. Kay Ivey to order the mandatory use of face masks in most situations.

In Birmingham Watch’s weekly analysis of data reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the 7-day moving average of new cases for the period ending July 15 jumped to 1,685.86 per day, an all-time high. And the longer-term 14-day moving average also stands at a record high of 1,413.07.

The total number of people who have tested positive for the disease since the pandemic began in mid-March stands at 58,225, an increase of 11,801 cases from seven days prior. The new total is roughly double the number reported on June 20 and quadruple that of May 24, which means the total is doubling about every 25 days. At the current rate of increase, Alabama could reach 100,000 positive cases on or about Aug. 5.

(In her press conference Wednesday to announce the order to use face masks, Ivey cited higher numbers for Wednesday’s daily new case report than what the ADPH reports on its web page. She said there had been 2,141 cases overnight, while the ADPH Dashboard reflected a total of 1,784. Birmingham Watch tried unsuccessfully to find out from the department about the cause of the discrepancy.)

The COVID-19 death toll has reached 1,182, a gain of 150 over the previous week. But the average number of deaths each day over seven days moved sharply higher to a record of 21.43. That average has more than doubled in two weeks’ time; the average was 9.71 on July 1. The 14-day moving average has also climbed to a new high, though not quite as quickly as the 7-day numbers. Wednesday’s reading was 16.79 deaths per day, up by more than 60% over the week-ago level.

On Wednesday morning, Ivey amended her series of COVID-19 orders to require everyone in the state to use face masks, with numerous exceptions for children age six and under and other reasons. The full order is found on the governor’s website.

Jefferson County still leads the state in the number of positive cases with 7,449, an increase of 1,762 (31%) in the past week and an average 251.71 new cases per day, also the highest in Alabama.

Mobile County is second in the state for total cases with 5,349, an increase of 1,034 (24%) from last week; its 7-day average is 147.71, up by more than 60% in a week’s time. Montgomery County is third with 4,732 cases, up 457 (10.7%) from the week before. Madison County has moved from sixth to fourth in total cases at 2,901, thanks to a sharp hike of 1,281 (79%) new cases in the period; its 7-day average of 183 is now the second-highest in the state. Tuscaloosa County is fifth with 2,837 total cases, up by 455 for the period.

Jefferson County again reports the most deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the state, with 15 deaths reported in the past week for a total of 176 since the outbreak began. Mobile County has had 157 deaths, with 21 last week; and Montgomery County reported 118, up by nine. Tallapoosa County is fourth on the list with 72 deaths.

Birmingham Watch computes the moving averages based the data updated each morning by the ADPH.