Who’s Getting COVID?

Transmission electron micrograph of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle. Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Alabama has averaged more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day for the past week, continuing to hit record highs as omicron and delta variants circulate at the same time.

Whites and people 25 to 49 years old are most at risk of contracting COVID, and whites and people over 75 are most at risk of dying from it.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported on its COVID dashboard that, in the past four weeks, the largest block of people infected were 25 to 49 year olds, making up 37.3% of the cases detected. The next most affected group were those in the 50 to 64 years old range, who made up 14.9% of cases, followed by 18 to 24 year olds, at 12.5%. The remainder of the cases were among 0-4 year olds, 3%; 5 to 11 year olds, 3.8%; 12 to 17 year olds, 4.7%; 65 to 74 year olds, 5%; those older than 75, 2.9%. People whose ages were not known made up 15.9% percent of positive tests.

Conversely, the most deaths were reported in people 75 and older, at 45.8%. The remainder of the age groups and portion of deaths were 65-74, 26.1%; 50-64, 14.8%; 25-49, 12.7%. No deaths were reported in that past four weeks for people younger than 25.

Whites still are seeing the brunt of the virus, making up 39.6% of cases and 72.3% of deaths. Black accounted for 30.8% of cases and 10.6% of deaths.

Recent Cases Still Breaking Records

The state has logged 71,269 new cases since Jan. 3, according to ADPH, which does not include people who tested themselves using the popular home tests.  Deaths over the past week totaled 169, an average of about 24 people a day.

In Jefferson County, 12,348 new cases of COVID were reported and nine people died of it in the past week.

Alabama’s positivity rate was 41.1% on Monday and Jefferson County’s was 41.2. The positivity rate is the percent of tests conducted that had positive result.

Hospitalizations among those with COVID are up to 1,593 as physicians and health care officials continue to urge people who suspect they have COVID not to go to Emergency Departments for testing or treatment of symptoms that are not an emergency. For non-life threatening symptoms, go to your doctor or an urgent care facility.

Doctors have said Emergency Departments are seeing record numbers of patients who have COVID symptoms, which has lengthened wait times for all patients and threatened hospitals’ ability to care for people who have other emergency conditions.

Delta and Omicron Still Circulating

The omicron variant appears to be the cause of most of the infections, but delta still is taking its toll, too. The state in the past four weeks ran only 229 samples to show which variant of COVID the patient had contracted.

In Jefferson County, almost three-fourths of the tested samples were the omicron variant and more than one-fourth of cases were the more serious delta variant. Delta cases made up about 65% of the samples tested in the east-central region of Alabama; the split was about half and half in the northeastern regions; in the northern region, the split was about 40/60 with delta dominant; in the southwestern region, the cases were evenly distributed. The only sampled tested in southeastern region was delta.