Alabama’s COVID hospitalizations Tuesday hit 554, a 194 percent increase from a month ago and the highest since March 3, when the state was still coming down from the winter’s deadly surge.
The state reported an additional 1,391 confirmed cases on Tuesday, which brought the daily average of reported cases for the week to 914, which is a 478 percent increase from a month ago.
Alabama’s spike in cases and hospitalizations is being seen in numerous other states, where cases continue to grow as the more contagious delta variant quickly takes over, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that the delta variant accounts for more than 83 percent of new cases in the U.S. UAB’s lab reported recently that 85 percent of the samples taken since July 12 were found to be the delta variant.
Alabama has the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated residents in the nation, at 33.7 percent, according to the CDC. The percentage of Alabamians who have received at least one dose, at 41.3 percent, fairs better than in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Dr. David Kimberlin, co-director of UAB’s division of pediatric infectious diseases, speaking with reporters Friday urged the public to get vaccinated and said the delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants and the original strain.
“The good news though, is that, unlike a year ago, we now have something we can do about it. We have vaccines that are available, and we need to get more people vaccinated,” Kimberlin said.
COVID-19 has killed at least 11,460 Alabamians and more than 600,000 in the U.S.