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Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations at new high for second straight day

Doctor in hospital corridor, unfocused background.

Tuesday marked the second day in a row that Alabama saw a record number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19, and it came on the same day Gov. Kay Ivey said she would issue no new restrictions despite surging cases and the increasing number of hospitalizations. 

Alabama’s hospitals on Tuesday were caring for a record-high 776 COVID-19 patients, a 14 percent increase from the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized a week prior — and an increase of 28 percent since June 2.

The seven-day rolling average of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was also at a record high on Wednesday at 693. UAB hospital was caring for 74 coronavirus patients on Monday, the highest number of patients that hospital has seen since the pandemic began. By Tuesday, that number rose to 78, a new high.

Alabama on Wednesday added 906 new COVID-19 cases, and the state added 854 new cases Tuesday, when the 14-day average of new daily cases was higher than it’s been since the start of the pandemic at 787.

Alabama’s 14-day average of new cases on Wednesday was also at a record high of 823. 

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There were 21 more COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday, a second straight day that the state has seen 21 deaths, bringing the state’s total death count from the virus to 947. Of the state’s COVID-19 deaths, 31 percent were reported during the month of June. 

The seven- and 14-day rolling averages of the percentage of tests that are positive also remain high, an indicator public health experts say should be at, or preferably below, 5 percent, or the state is not conducting enough tests and many cases are going undetected. 

Alabama’s seven-day percent positivity rate Wednesday was 12.4 percent, and the 14-day percent positivity rate was 12.37 percent. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Tuesday published a new graphic on the department’s website that details county-specific COVID-19 information that also measures the risk of the virus in each county.  

The department measures each county by looking at whether cases are declining or increasing, the percent of tests that are positive, whether testing goals have been met and the number of people visiting emergency rooms with COVID-19-like symptoms. 

ADPH on Wednesday ranked 24 of Alabama’s 67 counties as “very high risk,” 19 counties as “high risk,” 19 as “moderate risk” and just five as “low risk.” 

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Despite the surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday declined to order any new restrictions or a statewide masking requirement, and instead extended her “safer-at-home” order until July 31.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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