For a second straight day, Alabama’s positivity rate — the percent of COVID tests that are positive — reached a record high as new cases and COVID hospitalizations continue to climb, setting up the state for a troubling start to the new year.
Alabama’s seven-day average of daily percent of COVID tests that are positive reached 31.4 percent on Thursday, a clear indication that COVID cases are widespread. Pubic health experts say it should be at or below 5 percent or cases are going undetected.
All 67 counties in Alabama are categorized as having high rates of community transmission, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The state on Wednesday added 6,893 new COVID cases reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health, bringing Alabama’s seven-day average of new daily cases to 3,609. That seven-day average on Wednesday was a 363 percent increase from two weeks before.
COVID hospitalizations in Alabama increased by 113 percent over the last two weeks as well, reaching 771 on Thursday.
UAB Hospital-Highland’s COVID testing site located at the Highlands parking deck at 1130 12th Street in Birmingham will be open on Dec. 31 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for employee and community testing.
The Highland site will be closed on Jan. 1 and will reopen for extended operations on Sunday, Jan. 2. COVID testing at the site will be open Sunday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
COVID vaccination will temporarily halt at the drive-through site, the hospital announced Thursday, and employees and patients may receive a COVID vaccine or booster in the following locations:
- Injection Clinic in the former Regions Bank space from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday
- Injection Clinic on the 2nd floor of The Kirklin Clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
- UAB Hospital Highlands injection clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
A one-day COVID testing clinic is to take place in Opelika on Tuesday, Jan. 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2000 Waverly Parkway. The Alabama Department of Public Health , Lee County Emergency Management Agency and East Alabama Health will partner in the clinic to provide a one-day drive-through COVID
Testing is free, is limited to Alabama residents who are currently experiencing COVID symptoms and appointments are required.
To make an appointment, call the East Alabama Health Call Center at 334-528-4YOU (4968) on Monday, Jan. 3 to schedule a COVID test for Tuesday, Jan. 4. Monday, Jan. 3 is the only day that a person can call to get an appointment for this testing event. The Call Center’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Proof of identification will be required to match the person’s name with their appointment time. Insurance is not required.
The ADPH will call those who are tested at this event with same-day or next-day results, depending on the time of the person’s appointment.