More than a thousand Alabamians have died from COVID-19 this summer as schools prepare to start back. Through June, July and the first week and a half of August, the state has amassed an additional 1,103 dead from the coronavirus pandemic.
Summers in Alabama are known for barbecue, beach adventures, days at the lake, watermelons, blackberries, golf weekends and long vacations. The summer of 2020 will also be remembered for more than 81,000 coronavirus cases and for the mounting death toll from the virus.
The state headed into summer with 630 Alabamians dead from COVID-19 on May 31. That number has since increased 1,733.
As Alabama reopened its economy, many Alabamians chose to ignore the governor’s statewide “safer-at-home” order and carried on with their activities without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing. Some of them paid for their mistake with their lives — or the lives of loved ones.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported at least 296 deaths in June and 605 in July — the most of any month thus far in the pandemic. At least 202 Alabamians have died in the first 10 days of August.
On July 15, Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris modified the “safer-at-home” order to mandate the wearing of masks in public and whenever you might be within six feet of another person not from your household. School systems that are reopening this month are doing so with mask requirements.
The public health emergency runs through the end of August, but will likely be renewed for September unless there is marked improvement in the number of cases.
Doctors and hospitals are doing a better job at saving COVID-19 patients or the death tolls would be even worse; however, the uptick in deaths in Alabama is due to the sheer number of people being infected.
As of Monday, 99,390 Alabamians had tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 80,000 of those cases were diagnosed just this summer since June 1. The sheer volume of people infected is leading to Alabama’s surging death toll.
At least 81,438 have been diagnosed over the summer with 1,655 being diagnosed on Monday alone. The seven- and 14-day averages of cases have been coming down since July 20 after coronavirus positives peaked on July 19 at over 1,850 cases per day, on average, in mid-July.
The current seven-day average is at 1,352 cases per day.
The surging number of coronavirus cases has led to higher numbers of Alabamians having to be hospitalized for the virus. On Sunday 1,595 Alabamians were hospitalized with the virus.
Alabama schools start back this month, though many systems have started back online due to concerns that in-person classes will only spread the coronavirus.
There are several things that citizens should do to protect themselves from the virus. The first is to stay at home rather than risk contracting the virus by going out. If you do go out, wear a mask or cloth face covering. Always stay six feet away from other people not from your household.
Do not shake hands or hug. Wash your hands frequently. Isolate sick members of your family from the rest of the household. Avoid parties and large gatherings. Don’t touch your face.