From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Data from the Alabama Department of Public Health shows a swift increase in the number of daily hospitalizations due to coronavirus.
As of July 2, 2020, the number hospitalized in the state was 843. That compares to a total of 606 hospitalized a month ago. A graph showing the number of those hospitalized is updated each day at 2 p.m. The July 2 numbers were the highest the state has seen since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Also on Thursday, the state reported an additional 1,200 cases, making it the third consecutive day of adding about 1,000 cases each day.
“It is very concerning,” State Health Officer Scott Harris said of the latest numbers.
“What we’ve witnessed each time we’ve seen these surges occur, we have had an increased number of cases that pop up for whatever reason and then we begin to see, a few days or week or so later, increases in hospitalizations. The pattern has been shortly after that we begin to see increased numbers of deaths,” Harris said.
Health officials expressed worry about the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend. The state saw an uptick in cases in the weeks following Memorial Day.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday extended the state’s “safer at home” order that, among other things, limits occupancy in stores and restaurants, limits nursing home visitation, prohibits non-work gatherings where social distancing can’t be maintained and requires safety measures at salons and other businesses.
“Let me urge you, in the strongest manner I can, to incorporate COVID-19 precautions into your daily routine,” Ivey said.
Harris urged people to not abandon precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks.