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Every county in Alabama has lost people from COVID-19


There is a lot of diversity in Alabama. Not every community in Alabama looks the same, has the same level of education or makes the same amount money. There are urban counties, suburban counties, rural counties, counties experiencing rapid growth, and counties that have been declining in population for years. There are counties where people have to journey far away from home to find work and some where employers struggle to find qualified workers.

Every county in the state, however, even the smallest, have lost residents to COVID-19.

The big urban counties, with larger populations, understandably have had a higher number of total COVID deaths. Jefferson is by far the most populous county in the state and it has had the most COVID-19 deaths at 299. They are followed by the big urban counties of Mobile County with 257 and Montgomery with 161 deaths.

Tuscaloosa County is the home of the University of Alabama, which has recently reopened classes and experienced its own recent surge in coronavirus cases. Tuscaloosa County is also fourth in the number of COVID-19 deaths with 92.

But rural Tallapoosa County, which has a population of just 40,367 and virtually flat population growth for the last forty years, is fifth in the number of COVID-19 deaths with 81. The state veterans home there was the epicenter of an outbreak. Translated into deaths per 100,000, the small county has had 200.7 deaths or slightly over .2 percent death loss. That is a far higher rate of death than any of the big counties and trails only Lowndes with .247 percent (24 deaths) and Crenshaw with .203 percent (28 deaths).

Walker County is sixth with 73 deaths. Walker is a suburban and rural county but sits geographically in a triangle with Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties, and a lot of Walker residents commute there for work. Walker actually has a much higher death rate from COVID-19 at 114.7 deaths per 100,000 than its two neighboring counties — Jefferson with 45.4 deaths per 100,000 and Tuscaloosa with 43.9.

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Madison is seventh with 53 deaths. Madison has Huntsville, one of the largest metro areas in the state. Madison has a death rate from COVID-19 of just 14.2 deaths per 100,000 or .014 percent. This if the fifth lowest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the state. Russell County, with just 2 deaths, has the lowest COVID-19 rate in the state at .0035 percent.

Lee County, home to Auburn University, is eighth with 49 deaths. University age students are highly unlikely to die from COVID-19, but they can spread it to other people in the community.

Elmore, which borders both Montgomery and Tallapoosa Counties, is ninth with 43 deaths.

Shelby County is tenth with 42 deaths.

Every county in Alabama has lost at least two residents from COVID-19 thus far in the global pandemic, which first hit the state in March.

Lamar and Russell counties are tied for 66th place with just two deaths each. They are followed by Coosa, Geneva and Henry Counties with 3 deaths each. Cleburne, Coffee, Lawrence and Perry each have four COVID-19 deaths. Clay County has six.

552 Alabamians died from COVID-19 in the month of August. 605 Alabamians died in July from COVID-19. 297 Alabamians died from COVID-19 in June, 358 in May, 249 in April and 13 in March.

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In total, at least 2,102 people have died from COVID-19 in Alabama. Thus far, 862,095 people have died from COVID-19, including 188,931 Americans. Almost 26 million people worldwide have been infected in the pandemic.

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

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