Alabama’s COVID-19 positivity rate is continuing its decline into a range not seen since June, with the state hospitalization rate also declining at a slower pace, according to the most recent data released from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The current state COVID-19 positivity rate, which is the percentage of positive COVID-19 reported to ADPH, is 16.3 percent as of Thursday, a decline of 3.1 points from last week’s 19.4 percent.
Since many at-home tests are not included in the number released from ADPH — they often go unreported to the state — the positivity rate is only reliable when compared with other metrics like the state’s hospitalization rate.
State health officials have said that case numbers alone are not an accurate measurement of the current status of the pandemic in Alabama due in part to the lack of reporting of at-home tests back to the state.
The amount of individuals in area hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19-related illnesses is 511 as of Thursday, which is a nominal decrease from the 530 COVID-19 patients reported to ADPH last week.
An analysis from John Hopkins University shows that the majority of hospital beds, including ICU beds, are not occupied by COVID-19 patients.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration has recently begun to roll out updated boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna specifically designed to protect against the omicron subvariant BA.5, a highly transmissible and common form of the virus currently circulating through much of the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of Alabama’s population who are fully vaccinated and have received one booster dose is 37.9 percent. The current nationwide percentage of individuals who are fully vaccinated with one booster dose is 48.6 percent, according to the same statistics from the CDC.