More Alabamians have died in July and the first two and a half weeks of August than died in the first four months of the pandemic combined.
The Alabama Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 12 more deaths from COVID-19 in Alabama, taking the state death toll to at least 1,867.
At least 926 Alabamians died from COVID-19 in the months of March, April, May and June combined, while 941 Alabamians have died just in August and July — with 613 of those deaths occurring in the last 30 days and 336 of those deaths occurring in August.
The state is averaging 19 deaths per day in the month of August after averaging 20 deaths per day in July.
Another 1,220 Alabamians were reported to have tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, taking the state’s total cases to 105,815 cases.
Alabama had 37,536 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the first four months of the pandemic combined, while 47,742 cases were diagnosed in July alone. The state has had 20,537 new cases in August alone.
Cases are down dramatically since peaking around July 20. The state of Alabama is averaging 1,141 cases per day in August after averaging 1,540 cases per day in the month of July. That is a 25 percent decrease.
The state has had 5,889 cases diagnosed in the last week, representing just 841 cases per day, which represents a 45.7 percent decline from July.
Many public health officials remain fearful that the restart of schools and universities bringing students back on campus could lead to a new surge in coronavirus cases.
As of Tuesday, 1,280 Alabamians were hospitalized with complications from COVID-19. This is a decrease of 312 from Aug. 7 when 1,613 Alabamians were hospitalized — a 19.3 percent decrease.
The ADPH reports that 41,523 Alabamians have recovered from their COVID-19 infection. At least 863,713 coronavirus tests have been administered. The state has a population of just 4.9 million.
The top ten counties for COVID-19 deaths are Jefferson with 264 deaths, Mobile with 229, Montgomery with 153, Tuscaloosa with 85, Tallapoosa with 79, Walker with 67, Lee with 47, Elmore with 40, Chambers with 38 and Marshall with 38.
Every county in Alabama, even our smallest counties, have had at least one COVID-19 death.
Alabama has been under a public health emergency since March 13. After an unprecedented economic shutdown, the state reopened its economy on May 1. Unfortunately, many Alabamians misread this news as an all-clear order and chose to ignore the governor’s statewide “safer-at-home” order and resumed their pre-pandemic lifestyle without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.
Those mistakes are being blamed for the summer surge, which has killed 1,237 Alabamians in the summer months.
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 or cloth face coverings in public and whenever you might be within six feet of another person not from your household. The mask order is being credited with the recent decline in new cases. Despite this, many Alabamians still are not complying with the mask order when they go out.
Many school systems reopened last week with in-person classes and high school football begins play this week.
The governor’s public health emergency orders run through the end of August, but could be renewed for September if there is not marked improvement in the number of new cases in the state.
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has ordered that bars and restaurants stop serving alcohol after 11 p.m.
Socializing in a crowded bar is perhaps the riskiest behavior you can do outside of working with COVID-19 patients. Some public health experts have advised that all bars should be closed indefinitely until the pandemic is over to help slow the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 remains a clear and present danger to every Alabamian. The public is advised to please stay in your homes as much as possible. If you have to go out, wear a mask or cloth face covering.
If you do need to go out, remember to use social distancing. Don’t hug or shake hands with anyone outside of your household. Stay at least six feet apart from persons in other households and wash your hands frequently.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China, has already killed 780,032 people globally including 173,716 Americans.