After appearing to decline over the past week, updated data from the state shows that Alabama’s COVID-19 positivity jumped to a level over the past few days higher than any time since early February of this year, with state hospitalizations continuing to increase.
The percentage of COVID-19 tests reported positive to the Alabama Department of Health was 27.3 percent on July 5, an increase of nearly 4 percentage points from 23.6 percent on June 28. Public health experts say the positivity rate should be below 5 percent or cases are likely going undetected. A rising positivity rate also indicates wider community spread.
Feb. 4 of this year was the last time the state saw a similarly high positivity rate. At the time, the rate was dropping rapidly from a historic high amid the winter surge in omicron cases, and more tests were being reported back to ADPH.
As of Tuesday, the number of positive COVID-19 patients reported to ADPH was 517, an increase of 70 patients from Sunday, according to data compiled by ADPH.
A little over a week ago, ADPH reported 391 total COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals. A week before that, there were only 347 positive COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals.
The percentage of the state population who are fully vaccinated has plateaued and appears unchanged over the last several months, according to data from ADPH. The latest report shows that just barely half of the state is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recorded that 66.9 percent of the U.S population is now fully vaccinated.