From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Health reported that the number of coronavirus cases in the state and the number of daily hospitalizations has surged in recent weeks following the state government’s attempt to normalize the pandemic and pass responsibility onto local officials and residents.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has not held a press conference discussing the rapid rise of cases and deaths following her decision to lift stay-at-home orders in an effort to improve the state’s economy. This follows Ivey’s and Dr. Scott Harris’ assertion in May that any decision to reopen would be based upon data, yet the data at the time showed a continued increase in case numbers despite the lack of testing.
Since then, the numbers have spiked, which has caused ICUs in Montgomery and Tuscaloosa to reach near capacity.
As of Friday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Alabama reached 27,796, with 410 probable cases. COVID-19 deaths in the state moved to 801 confirmed with nine probable deaths.
The Alabama Department of Health began to chart the number of presumed recoveries throughout the state on Wednesday, May 20. A recovery is listed following 14 days without hospitalization and 32 days following a hospitalization. Currently, there 15,974 estimated recoveries. The data is updated weekly.
Through the week of May 31 through June 6, the percent of positive tests sat at 10.2%. That percentage has not been updated since.
Currently, Montgomery, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties are all reporting their largest increases in weekly cases. Jefferson County has reported 2,708 positive cases with 124 confirmed deaths, St. Clair County has reported 182 positive cases with two deaths and Blount County has reported 127 positive cases with one death.
There have been 322,124 tests conducted in Alabama with 2,373 hospitalizations statewide since March 13, 2020. Alabama’s estimated 2019 population is 4,903,185. Currently, the state is experiencing a surge in hospitalizations with 33.7 per day, with 663 in the hospital as of June 18.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has an interactive website providing up-to-the-minute updates on cases across the state.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The ADPH’s website can be accessed by clicking here.