Category: Coronavirus

Daily Average Number of COVID-19 Cases Drops Again Friday

There were 700 new cases of COVID-19 in Alabama on Friday, making the fourth consecutive day with a count below the 1,000 mark, the state Department of Public Health reported.

That brought the number of confirmed cases of the disease to 102,196 since the pandemic began in March. There were four deaths in the latest 24-hour period, raising the state’s toll to 1,825. The agency’s COVID Dashboard said another 4,061 cases and 69 deaths were listed as probably associated with the disease.

The seven-day rolling average of cases stood at 1,053 a day for the past week, also down for the fourth consecutive day. The 14-day rolling average was 1,208 cases a day, which is down for the fifth straight day.
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College Entry Testing Shows Less Than 1% of Students Have COVID-19

A statewide program to test college students returning to campus has found a COVID positivity rate of just 0.83% of the 30,000 students tested over the past 10 days.

The massive program, GuideSafe, is spearheaded by UAB and partners. It eventually will test about 200,000 students at 50 state colleges and universities.

Dr. Mike Saag, director of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases, warned that the numbers can vary 10% to 15% as student testing continues at the 13 test sites.

“Part of our mission is to watch the campuses over time to keep them safe,” Saag said. “We can target interventions based on what we learn from testing.” Read more.

Alabama Chalks Up 695 New COVID-19 Cases

Alabama’s COVID-19 case count increased by just 695 Wednesday, continuing a decline that began more than two weeks ago.

So far, 101,496 confirmed cases of the disease have been diagnosed in the state and 1,821 people have died, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s update Thursday morning.

The department counts another 4,061 reports and 69 deaths as probable cases of the coronavirus. Read more.

Alabama Death Rates Near Highs, but New Case Rates Continue Falling

It’s been said by health officials numerous times since the COVID-19 pandemic began that the rate of deaths is a lagging indicator compared to the rate of increase in new cases. That assertion is proving true at the moment, as the moving averages of daily deaths in Alabama attributed to the virus are near record highs, while the averages of new positive tests continue to fall for the third straight week.

Those trends come as the state passed the 100,000 mark in total COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

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 stood at 1,289.29 per day. That’s down by more than 168 cases from the previous week and almost 563 lower than the record high on July 19.

The longer-term 14-day average is at 1,373.5, down by 152 from the week before. The percentage increase in the number of new positives was up by an average of 1.33% per day over the past seven days, down from a peak of 3.18% on July 15. For Tuesday and Wednesday, the daily increase was below 1%. Read more.

Alabama Eclipses the 100,000 Mark in COVID-19 Cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in Alabama climbed to 100,801 on Wednesday as the state Department of Public Health reported a total of 875 for the latest 24-hour period.

There were 33 deaths for the period, increasing the total to 1,814 since the pandemic began in mid-March. The Health Department’s COVID dashboard said an additional 3,925 cases and 66 deaths are believed to be linked to the disease.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases per day stood at 1,289. The average reached a high of 1,851 on July 19. The state has averaged 25 deaths a day over the past week.
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Virtually or Physically, the First School Systems Start Opening Under the Shadow of COVID-19

Students in the Birmingham area are starting to get back to their studies this week as schools slowly begin to reopen.

This week through Sept. 8, schools will be kicking off what is bound to be an unusual school year. While all schools will be offering virtual learning programs, some are allowing students to go to class in person and others are offering blended programs of virtual and in-person learning.

Fairfield City Schools was one of the earliest systems in the area to reconvene, on Monday. The system is having orientation this week, laying the groundwork for instruction to commence.

Parents and students are going to schools to receive schedules, syllabi and, in some cases, devices for online learning. Read more.

Gonsoulin Responds to Parents Critical of JefCoEd Move to Hold School Virtually

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin announced last week that his system would begin the new school year with virtual online learning for the first nine weeks because of concerns over COVID-19, after parents in a survey voted 56% to 44% in favor of that method.

Since then, many in the 44% have been letting Gonsoulin know about their displeasure with the decision, and the superintendent responded to those complaints at the beginning of a called special board of education meeting Tuesday morning.

“My stance on that is that we serve everyone, those who agree and those who disagree,” Gonsoulin said. “The safety and well-being of our more than 35,000 students and more than 4,500 staff members is paramount.” Read more.

Birmingham Council OKs Al Fresco Dining as Hail Mary for Restaurants

Birmingham restaurants will now be able to use sidewalks and parking spaces for outdoor dining, the City Council decided Tuesday. The decision, described by District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams as a “Hail Mary from the mayor’s staff,” is intended to give restaurants greater seating capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Alabama Reports Lowest Daily Number of COVID-19 Cases Since June

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Alabama dropped Tuesday to 536, the lowest daily count in more than seven weeks.

Despite the lower number of cases, the Alabama Department of Public Health’s daily report showed a total of 48 deaths for the latest 24-hour period, the second-highest daily figure since the pandemic began in mid-March. There were 57 deaths listed on July 22.

The Health Department’s COVID Dashboard lists a total of 99,926 confirmed cases and 1,781 deaths. An additional 3,630 cases and 64 deaths are presumed to have been related to the disease.

Tuesday’s total was the lowest since a count of 359 on June 28. 
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