COVID-19’s Stranglehold on Alabama Lightens

Overall Level of Community Transmission: Past 7 Days: Blue = low risk; yellow = moderate; orange = substantial; red = high.

Jefferson County has dropped back into the moderate category for risk of community COVID-19 transmission as instances of the viruses have lessened across Alabama.

Only eight counties remain in the high-risk category and 12 are at substantial risk, under the state’s risk classifications. Seven have dropped to the low-risk category, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID data and surveillance dashboard. The state as a whole is classified as being at moderate risk for community transmission.

The state’s positivity rate, or the rate of COVID-19 tests that have been returned positive in the past week, has dropped to 5.9%, and Jefferson County’s positivity rate is now 4.4%. Both topped 40% a few weeks ago.

The Centers for Disease control and Prevention released a new way of looking at risk levels last week that is not yet reflected on the state’s dashboard. It ranks counties as low, medium or high, and the levels are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, new hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

Under the CDC’s formula, Jefferson County still is listed in the high category. Advice for residents is to continue wearing masks indoors, get vaccinated and get tested if you have symptoms. Those at high risk of developing severe illness from the virus are encouraged to follow stricter standards, including wearing higher grade masks and avoiding indoor activities open to the public.

The new daily case average for the past week in Alabama hit 82 on Tuesday, after having been 487 one week ago. The omicron surge reached its peak Jan. 22, when the 7-day moving average of new cases topped out at 13,410 cases per day.

In Jefferson County, the seven-day average was 11 on Tuesday. It was 67 just one week ago.