Alabama’s COVID-19 New Case Averages Mixed, Death Reports Turning Upward

After several weeks of Alabama COVID-19 numbers moving in a positive direction, the data is starting to level off or take a slight turn for the worse.

In BirminghamWatch’s weekly analysis of data reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the 7-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases for the period ending Wednesday is 704.14 per day, down by two cases per day from a week ago. The longer-term 14-day average has risen to 705.14; that’s an increase of just more than the average 40 cases per day posted seven days ago.

The percentage increase in the number of new positives rose by an average of 0.54% per day over the past seven days, with the average wavering little from that level for three straight weeks.

The total of positive cases statewide stands at 132,452 as of Wednesday, an increase of 4,929 cases over seven days, almost the same weekly increase as on the previous Wednesday. Another 14,701 cases are listed by ADPH as probable, for a total of 147,153 cases overall.

The doubling rate of confirmed cases is now 121 days, which means it will take four months for the total to double again at this rate. The rate has stayed around that level since Sept. 12.

The 7-day average positivity rate now stands at 11.28%, a reduction of just under one percentage point from a week ago. The 14-day average rate is at 10.67%, barely above last week. The positivity rate is the percentage of positive results from all tests in a period, so a drop in total testing will often raise the positivity rate. The “ideal rate” is considered to be 5% or less. The testing rate has increased in recent weeks, as 6,242.29 tests were performed daily on average in the past seven days, an average that has climbed from 4,461 two weeks ago.

The state death toll has risen to 2,335, up by 78 over last week. An additional 153 deaths are listed as probable, for an overall total of 2,488. The 7-day moving average of new death reports declined to 11.14 per day, down from 13.71 on Sept. 16, while the 14-day average is now 12.43 new deaths per day, up from 10.21 a week ago. Death reports continue to be erratic, as health providers catch up with backlogged cases. A three-day span in the past week when eight deaths were reported was followed by 43 deaths in the past two days.

Once again, Jefferson County leads the state with 18,476 cases, up by 730 from last week. The county has 830 probable cases for a combined total of 19,306. Jefferson County has had 336 fatalities from COVID-19 to date.

Mobile County is second among Alabama counties in total cases. It has 12,810 confirmed cases, up 200 from last week, and 423 probable cases for a total of 13,233. Mobile County has had 285 deaths from the disease.

Montgomery County is third in the state. It has 8,439 confirmed cases, up 192 from last week. It also has 309 probable cases, for a total of 8,748. Montgomery County has had 172 deaths from the disease.

Madison County is fourth in the state, at 7,343 confirmed cases, up 387 from last week. It also has 366 probable cases, for a total of 7,709 cases.

Tuscaloosa County has the fifth-most cases of any county in the state, with 6,025 confirmed cases, up 311 cases from last week. It has 1,393 more cases counted as probable, for a total count of 7,418. The number of probable cases is second statewide, behind only Lee County. Tuscaloosa County has had 104 deaths from the disease.

Lee County has 1,983 probable cases, which is more than half as many as the 3,809 confirmed cases it has. Lee County has a total of 5,792 cases reported there.

Tallapoosa County has the fifth-most deaths in the state, with 84 deaths.

Confirmed hospitalized COVID-19 patient numbers rose statewide over the past week. ADPH reported 768 patients, up by 44 from a week ago. But the 7-day moving average of 765.86 patients is down by about 15.

The 7-day average of new hospitalizations climbed sharply to 108, compared to 59.57 last week.

Birmingham Watch computes moving averages based on the data updated daily by the ADPH.