Author: Glenn Stephens
The number of COVID-19 cases in Alabama continued a steady climb on Saturday as the state Department of Public Health reported 1,699 new cases and 35 deaths from the disease.
It was the greatest number of new cases reported in a single day in more than a month, pushing Alabama’s total to 192,285 cases since the pandemic began in March. The department added 1,789 cases to the overall count in Saturday’s report but said 90 of those came from a lab in Covington County for the period of Aug. 6 to Oct. 27.
There have been 164,295 confirmed cases and 27,990 listed as probable.
Alabama’s death count for the pandemic reached 2,967, including 2,761 confirmed and 206 probable. Read more.
Sen. Doug Jones visited his hometown of Fairfield on Saturday afternoon, one of many stops throughout Alabama during the final days of his re-election campaign.
Standing in the parking lot of Urban Smoke Bar & Grill and flanked by his wife Louise, son Carson and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, Jones told supporters to disregard polls that show him trailing his opponent, former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville.
“We know better,” he said, urging his supporters to “remember the feeling” of his previous victory against Roy Moore in December 2017, which had also been a surprise. Jones argued he could pull off the same surprise in Tuesday’s election. He said his campaign’s internal polling data “is right where we want it.”
Health experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham warn that Alabama could see another surge of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. This comes as the number of new daily cases in the state continues to tick upward.
“Unfortunately, we’re now heading up towards higher levels [of COVID-19 caseloads] than we’ve ever seen before,” said Dr. Michael Saag, a UAB infectious disease doctor. “Positivity rates of tests in Alabama are almost up to 25% now. That means one in four tests are coming back positive.”
Saag said this indicates widespread community spread. He said the goal is to have a positivity rate of less than 5%.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said that he predicts “with some degree of certainty” that in the next four to six weeks officials will have some answers to the question of vaccines.