COVID Numbers in Alabama Staying Stable as Mandates Go Away

As COVID vaccinations continue and state governments continue to loosen restrictions originally imposed in the wake of increasing infections and deaths, Alabama’s numbers have declined into a narrow range.

In BirminghamWatch’s periodic analysis of COVID data, the 7-day moving average of new cases reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health is down to 310.86 per day. That average compares to 337.57 cases per day a week prior, a decrease of 8.5%. The longer-term 14-day average is now at 324.21 new cases per day, down from 362.79 seven days beforehand, a fall of 11.8%.

Both averages have stayed well below 400 since the end of March, and the 7-day average has drifted below the 14-day mark, which typically indicates a continuing downward trend, though it’s a very slow downtrend in this case.

The increase in the state death toll has remained steady for about three weeks, with both the 7-day and 14-day averages staying in a range between 8 and 10 per day. The total deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020 was just three shy of the 11,000 mark on Wednesday.

Hospitalizations of COVID patients has also settled into a narrow range over the past week. Wednesday’s report showed 365 inpatients across Alabama; the numbers over the past week have stayed within 10 either side of that total, with the 7-day average fractionally below Wednesday’s report.

Wednesday’s daily ADPH report showed 347 new cases and 12 deaths statewide.

Jefferson County had 299 new cases of the virus in the past seven days, a 7-day average of 42.71 per day. That’s slightly down from the previous week, when 280 new cases were tallied. Nine deaths were reported in the county in the past week, down from just two the prior week.

The county’s 14-day average positivity rate has dropped to 2.15% as of Wednesday. The rate has been well below the rate of 5% that’s considered “ideal” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The improving data comes as nearly all statewide pandemic restrictions imposed last year have been lifted. Gov. Kay Ivey’s public health order will expire May 31, but all restrictions on activities of businesses and consumers already have ended. The only edicts included in the order are that senior citizen centers continue to follow guidelines issued by the Alabama Department of Senior Services, and hospitals and nursing homes follow visitation guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Several cities, including Birmingham, have imposed their own mask requirements.

BirminghamWatch’s analysis is based on numbers updated each day by the ADPH on its website.