There are still eleven days in the month of July, but with 30,175 diagnosed coronavirus cases, July is already the worst month yet for coronavirus cases in Alabama.
Alabama ended June with 37,536 coronavirus cases. This month, the state is on a pace to double the total number of coronavirus cases. Cases have been surging throughout the summer following Alabama’s early reopening, which began April 30.
The state has so far reported 30,175 cases in July, which follows 19,584 cases in June, 10,884 cases in May, 6,069 cases in April and 999 cases in March.
Not only was July the worst month for cases, it is on pace to be the worst month for COVID-19 deaths. At least 1,257 Alabamians have already died from COVID-19. At least 331 deaths have been reported in July. That comes after 296 died in June.
At least 359 Alabamians died of COVID-19 in the month of May. July’s COVID-19 deaths trail May deaths by just 27 with still 11 days left in the month. At least 259 Alabamians died of COVID-19 in April, and 13 died in March.
While the survival rate of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 has actually improved since April, the number of cases and the number of cases that become serious have both increased. On Monday, 1,563 Alabamians were hospitalized with COVID-19.
In an attempt to try to slow the speed of the coronavirus, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris issued a statewide mask order on Wednesday. Wal-Mart, Publix and many other businesses are denying entry to anyone who will not wear a mask or a cloth face covering. Some Republicans have called Ivey’s mask order unconstitutional.
Alabama was already under a “safer-at-home” order, urging Alabamians to stay at home if at all possible.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, in an appearance on Fox News, pleaded with Americans to wear face masks and cited their benefits.
“I’m pleading with your viewers. I’m begging you. Please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering,” Adams said. “We are saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open.”
On Sunday, President Donald Trump told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that there would not be a national order mandating masks. At least 143,536 Americans have died from COVID-19.
Alabama was tenth in the number of new coronavirus cases on Sunday, trailing only Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arizona, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Ivey and Harris are urging Alabamians to social distance whenever possible, wash hands frequently, adhere to the required mask policies and avoid hugging and handshaking people not from your own household, particularly those most vulnerable, the elderly and persons with pre-existing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Despite having 35,988 and climbing active coronavirus cases, Alabama officials still intend to reopen schools and allow high school and college football next month. That will be difficult to do if cases and deaths continue to climb.
Some teachers have expressed reservations about returning to work with coronavirus cases continuing to soar in the state.