COVID-19 is trending upward in Alabama and across the country, following a pattern of summer spikes set since the virus first arrived in the U.S. in 2020. Read more.
COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on Alabama in the 38 months since the first case was reported in the state.
One in three Alabamians have had the virus, and 21,138 Alabamians have died with it, according to numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health. Just this year, 251 people in the state have died with COVID, illustrating that, while the “emergency” is over, the virus is still out there. Globally, COVID has killed almost 7 million people so far. Read more.
COVID-19 cases have declined across Alabama and hospitalizations are down from months past, Dr. Wes Stubblefield, district medical officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health’s northern third of the state.
But don’t be tempted to think it’s gone. Stubblefield said it is important to remember that COVID is still circulating in Alabama, it still is infecting people and it still is killing people.
Since early March, Alabama’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have hovered around 200. As of Friday, statewide there were 136 adults and seven children hospitalized with it, far below the highs of 3,000 patients seen periodically in previous years.
Stubblefield said most of the current COVID infections are due to the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant. Read more.
Three years ago, Alabamians were beginning to see the impacts of a new respiratory virus sweeping the nation.
“Everybody remembers watching in horror at what was transpiring in Washington State in this skilled nursing facility,” recalled Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer with the Alabama Department of Public Health. “We just didn’t know how much we didn’t know.”
Harris made the comments during a monthly meeting of the Alabama Board of Health on Thursday. He discussed lessons learned from the pandemic and future challenges amid the looming removal of a federal emergency declaration. Read more.
One year ago, Alabama was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the state’s peak, on Jan 21, 2022, the 7-day average of new COVID cases per day was 12,918, according to the New York Times’ COVID tracker.
The year before, in February, 2021, deaths hit their high with an average of 147 Alabamians a day succumbing to the disease.
This week, as of Wednesday, Jan. 18, the 7-day average of new cases per day statewide was 963, and the daily average of deaths was 3.1 on Thursday.
Despite the steep drop, health officials have urged people to remain vigilant, keep up with their vaccinations and mask if their community is at risk of COVID or if they are at heightened risk from the virus. Read more.
COVID-19 has been creeping upward in Alabama during the holidays. The new daily average of COVID-19 cases in Alabama increased by 27% in the two weeks leading up to Dec. 21, the last day for which complete information was available. Read more.
COVID-19 continues to trend downward in Alabama and this week is averaging about 90% fewer average daily cases and hospitalizations than when the state hit its all-time peak in January. Read more.
Although many Alabamians seem to believe the pandemic is over, judging by the lack of masks being worn inside stores and other public buildings, the virus actually is affecting more Alabamians now than it did two years ago.
On Thursday, the average of new cases being reported daily in the state was 2,099, according to New York Times data. Not only is that a 4% increase from two weeks ago, it’s a 41% increase over the average number of new cases reported the week ending Sept. 1, 2020, when the average of new daily cases reported was 1,482.
But the most recent case numbers are at just less than half of what they were last year, when an average of 4,307 new cases had been reported daily in the week that ended Sept. 1. Read more.
The latest strain of COVID-19 is more contagious than its ancestors, leading to more rebound infections and more infections among people who had so far been able to avoid it. Read more.
It’s time for Alabamians who do not want to catch COVID to put back on their masks.
That was the advice from the Alabama Department of Public Health this week as cases continued to increase across the state.
After the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits in the spring and hospitals cleared out their overflow patients, people began to think the pandemic was over.
It is not.
Hospitalizations have been rising in recent weeks, and 677 people diagnosed with COVID were in Alabama hospitals Friday, According to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID dashboard.
That’s the highest number since February, but it’s not nearly the almost 3,000 daily average COVID patients in hospitals in January.
The state’s positivity rate, which shows the portion of people who were officially tested for COVID-19 and returned a positive result, has risen to 30.2%. Read more.