Alabama reached an unwelcome milestone in its battle with the COVID-19 virus, as the number of new cases reported each day has passed the 1,000 mark in moving averages for the first time.
The BirminghamWatch weekly analysis of data reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health shows that the 7-day moving average of new cases has jumped to 1,140.29 per day, the second highest since the outbreak began; the average peaked at 1,212.29 on July 5.
The longer-term 14-day moving average now stands at a record high of 1,057.14, after surpassing 1,000 two days prior.
The overall total of positive cases was 46,424 as of the Wednesday report by the ADPH. That’s roughly double the number as of June 12 and quadruple that of May 17, which means the total is doubling roughly every 26 days. If that rate continues, Alabama could reach 100,000 positive cases on or about Aug. 6.
The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 also topped the 1,000 mark this week and stood at 1,032 as of Wednesday.
The 7-day average for deaths has trended upward, but only slightly, with the number of new deaths each day staying between 11 and 12. Likewise, the 14-day moving average has hovered at about 11 new deaths each day, standing at 10.93 for the past three days. This means that about 78 people have died as a result of the virus each week for the past two weeks.
As the numbers increase for new positive tests, more and more cities in Alabama have enforced mandatory wearing of face masks in public places, even as Gov. Kay Ivey has declined to do so statewide. Among those places joining Birmingham and Jefferson County in the past week are Madison County, which includes Huntsville, and the cities of Mobile and Montgomery; the latter adopted their new ordinance on Tuesday.
Jefferson County continues to lead the state in the number of positive cases with 5,687, an increase of 1,300 in the past week and an average 185.71 per day, the highest in Alabama.
Mobile County is now second in the state with 4,315, up 618 from last week; its 7-day average is 88.29, also second highest statewide. Montgomery County is third with 4,275 cases, up 436 from the week before. Tuscaloosa County is fourth with 2,382 cases. Madison County is sixth at 1,620, but it has seen a sharp uptick in the daily count of new cases; its 7-day average of 80.43 is now third highest.
Jefferson County continues to report the most deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the state, with 19 deaths reported in the past week for a total of 161 since the outbreak began. Mobile County has had 136 deaths, with just two reported last week, and Montgomery County has tallied 109 (up 10 this week). Tuscaloosa County’s death toll stands at 48; Madison County has attributed just eight deaths to COVID-19 since the outset of the pandemic.
Birmingham Watch computes the moving averages based the data updated each morning by the ADPH. The averages are for periods ending Wednesday, July 8.