Alabama hospitals on Tuesday were just 135 patients away from a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and the state’s ICU beds were at 95 percent capacity.
Alabama had 2,946 people hospitalized with COVID on Monday, just shy of the record high of 3,080 set on Jan. 5, 2021. Of the 1,463 patients in ICUs on Monday, 40 percent were COVID-19 patients, according to the Alabama Hospital Association.
Children with COVID comprised 75 of those hospitalized with the virus Monday, with four of those children in the ICU and three on ventilators.
UAB Hospital in Birmingham was caring for 259 COVID patients on Monday, just 87 patients shy of the hospital’s record, set on Jan. 25.
After a short period of declining cases numbers in Alabama, the more contagious omicron once again began adding new daily cases at an increasing rate. The state’s average of new daily cases reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health over the week ending Sunday reached 12,520. That’s down just slightly from the current surge’s high weekly average of 13,282 set on Friday.
Alabama’s percent of COVID tests that are positive, seen as a critical marker to determine the current spread of the virus, remains among the highest in the nation. The state’s seven-day average percent positivity over the last week was 44.4 percent. Public health experts say it should be at or below five percent or cases are going undetected.