Alabama’s death rate from COVID-19 continued to climb in Thursday’s update by the state Department of Public Health.
The agency reported 72 new deaths, raising the toll to 12,856 over the course of the pandemic. ADPH has added an average of 43 deaths per day over the past week. By comparison, the statewide average was 32 a day ago and 20 daily at the end of last month.
Though more people are dying in Alabama because of the COVID-19 virus, and particularly its delta variant, there may be signs of hope that the latest surge may be turning for the better.
In the periodic BirminghamWatch analysis of the state’s pandemic data, the death toll is increasing at the highest rate seen so far in the summer surge, with the 7-day moving average heading past peaks reached two weeks earlier.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported Wednesday on its online dashboard that 66 people died because of the COVID virus in the past day, matching a daily high set on Aug. 28. The 7-day average is now at 42.29 deaths per day, moving past a peak set on Sept. 1 but more than double the 19.57 eight days ago. The fatality reports have seen large swings due in part to the Labor Day holiday period, during which many reporting agencies were closed or operating with skeleton staffs.
For the first time in the history of Alabama, COVID-19 last year pushed the state’s death rate higher than the birthrate.
“The state population is shrinking, and we have never seen that happen before in the history of Alabama,” Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Wednesday.
In fact, more people died in Alabama last year than any other year on record.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that 7,181 people died from COVID-19 last year. Read more.
The seven-day average number of deaths from COVID has more than doubled in Alabama so far this month.
The State Department of Public Health reported 40 new deaths in Tuesday’s daily update, bringing the state’s total 12,718 over the course of the pandemic. There was an average of 43 deaths a day over the past week, more than twice the daily average of 20 for the last week of August.
While the number of deaths has risen dramatically in September, the number of cases has shown a significant decline.
As coronavirus reasserts its dominance in the community, officials at UAB are reinstituting its mass drive-through vaccination sites, and the Jefferson County Health Department has set vaccination clinics at all three of its locations. Vaccinations also are available at many drug stores, and many doctors offer the shots. For information on where vaccinations are available, Read more.
Alabama is getting close to having three-quarters of a million Covid cases.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported Friday a total of 741,318 cases, including 4,800 new cases. The state averaged 3,780 new cases a day over the past week, which is the lowest average since the Aug. 20 figure of 3,662.
There were 53 new deaths reported Friday, bringing the statewide total for the pandemic to 12,605. The seven-day average stood at 30 deaths a day, double the average of 15 posted on Aug. 10.
Researchers say there always will be new variant strains of the COVID-19 virus, although all the strains won’t be as deadly as delta.
The delta strain has made COVID more deadly for the unvaccinated. It is responsible for 90% of the 40 million COVID cases in the U.S and the deaths of 648,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It spreads much faster and may cause more severe cases than other variants, according to the CDC.
The delta strain is not alone. There are many variants being studied by researchers and scientists.
Last Friday, the World Health Organization added the mu strain to its list of COVID variants of interest. It joins eta, iota, kappa and lambda on the list. Read more.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 4,367 new cases of COVID-19 in its daily update Thursday, reflecting a continued drop in the weekly average.
The report brought the number of cases for the pandemic to 736,518. The state has averaged 3,827 new cases a day over the past week — down by 878 cases daily from Thursday of last week.
ADPH reported 64 new deaths from COVID-19, raising the state’s total for the pandemic to 12,552. Alabama has averaged 32 deaths a day over the past week, unchanged from a week ago.
The state of Alabama has issued recommendations to school districts on how to handle COVID-19 in the classroom. But many of them are just recommendations, giving districts lots of flexibility in setting their own COVID-19 protocols. Read more.
It’s a bit hard to tell which direction the COVID numbers in Alabama are taking right now, and the Labor Day weekend may be the primary reason — or not.
In BirminghamWatch’s periodic analysis of the state’s COVID data, the number of new cases took a significant dip over the holiday period. But the two main moving averages are at cross currents as far as indicating a trend, and the first day of reporting after the holidays has showed numbers jumping up to higher levels once again.
The 7-day moving average of new daily cases fell to 3,961.57 as of Wednesday, showing the effect of three straight daily reports of below 3,000 cases. The short-term average dropped by 28.5% over seven days before, when a record of 5,538.14 was reached.