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July is worst month yet for Alabama COVID-19 deaths

Deaths are dramatically up from the month of June, when 296 deaths were reported. Thus far in July, 399 Alabamians have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 quarantine and prevention concept against the coronavirus outbreak and pandemic. Text writed with background of waving flag of the states of USA. State of Alabama 3D illustration.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported another 57 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, the most in a single day, and the grim pronouncement now means that July is the worst month thus far for COVID-19 deaths.

At least 1,325 Alabamians have now died from COVID-19. Deaths are dramatically up from the month of June, when 296 deaths were reported. Thus far in July, 399 Alabamians have died from COVID-19. This surpasses the state’s previous worst month of May, during which 358 Alabamians died from the virus. At least 259 Alabamians died in April and 11 died in March, the first month that the novel strain of coronavirus was confirmed through testing in Alabama.

July is also the worst month for new coronavirus infections in Alabama. Another 1,338 Alabamians were diagnosed with the coronavirus on Wednesday alone. Thus far, 70,413 Alabamians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 32,877 of those cases have been in July alone. Alabama ended June with 37,536 coronavirus cases. The state is on a pace to easily double that in this month alone. The number of coronavirus cases have been surging throughout the summer following Alabama’s reopening, which began on April 30.

In June, 19,584 coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Alabama, and 11,027 cases were diagnosed in the month of May. At least 5,926 cases were diagnosed in April, while 999 cases were diagnosed in March.

The survival rate of those who test positive for COVID-19 is up notably since April. Hospitals are doing a better job of treating COVID patients, but the sheer size of the caseload is becoming staggering. Alabama hospitals report that 1,547 Alabamians were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. The only other day of the pandemic during which they reported more was Monday, when 1,571 Alabamians were hospitalized with COVID-19.

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At least 3,256 long-term care facility residents have contracted the coronavirus, as have 2,014 workers at long-term care facilities. The Attalla Health and Rehab nursing home in Etowah County was evacuated over the weekend after dozens of patients developed COVID-19. At least 4,864 Alabama health care workers have become infected over the course of the pandemic, increasing the strain on the remaining frontline healthcare workers.

Alabama is under a “safer-at-home” order. Alabamians are encouraged to stay in their homes at all times, if possible, and not have guests over. If you do need to leave your house, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris have issued a statewide order requiring everyone wear masks whenever they are within six feet of another person not in their own household.

Wal-Mart, Publix and many other businesses are denying entry to anyone who will not wear a mask or a cloth face covering. Additionally, the governor is advising everyone to socially distance: don’t shake hands or hug people, even relatives, when out, and stay six feet away whenever possible. The state is also asking that citizens avoid large gatherings, wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

To this point, 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 145,294 Americans have died in the global pandemic.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the coronavirus crisis “is going to get worse before it gets better.”

Alabama’s school system is working on developing plans to reopen next month, despite the rising number of cases throughout the state.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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