COVID New-Case Rates and Hospitalizations Continue Upward Trend in Alabama

Coronavirus illustration. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The state’s COVID numbers keep heading in the wrong direction, as the Delta variant of the virus is now present in better than four out of five people who test positive for the virus across the country.

Thursday’s report by the Alabama Department of Public Health showed that new cases were down slightly from Wednesday but still high enough to push moving averages upward yet again. Alabama tallied 1,567 additional cases, down slightly from Wednesday’s 1,632 count. The total for the pandemic is now 565,510 cases in the state.

The 7-day average increased to 1,133.44 daily cases, which is 9.36 times the average on July 6, the lowest point since April of last year. The average hasn’t been this high since Feb. 15. The 14-day average is just a fraction below 900, the most since Feb. 27 and 5½ times the low mark set July 6.

COVID-related deaths remain at roughly the same levels as they have been for the past 30 days. Six deaths were reported statewide Thursday, with the 7-day average at 4.14 deaths per day and the 14-day average at 5.79.

The number of hospitalized COVID patients across Alabama continues a steady climb, however. The ADPH said 646 people were hospitalized because of COVID as of Thursday, up by 44 from the previous day. The total has almost quadrupled since the low point of 166 patients on June 20.

Alabama has returned to the bottom of the list of full-vaccination percentages by state, according to The New York Times. As of Thursday, 34% of all residents had received the full vaccine regimen. At least one vaccine dose has been received by 41% of the population.

The Delta variant of the virus, which is more potent, spreads much easier and typically makes unvaccinated victims sicker, now accounts for 83.2% of all new cases nationwide, according to a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That percentage is sharply higher than the last estimate by the CDC two weeks ago, which was 51.7%.

Locally, UAB health professionals reported Thursday that 85% of samples run since July 12 have been confirmed as the Delta variant.