Alabama suffers 'self-inflicted wound' of worsening COVID-19

A health leader says Alabama is suffering a “self-inflicted wound” from COVID-19.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 2:30 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is suffering a “self-inflicted wound” from COVID-19, with hospitals again filling up as the state trails the nation in vaccinations and pandemic precautions like face masks and social distancing are all but forgotten, a health leader said Tuesday.

Only 166 people were hospitalized statewide a month ago with COVID-19 after thousands were vaccinated and before a new variant took hold. But that low point has been followed by a rapid rise, and nearly 500 people were being treated for the virus now, statistics showed.

Hospitals are far from the critical point they reached in January, when some 3,000 people were being treated at one time, but the fast-spreading Delta variant threatens to worsen the situation barring a rapid increase in vaccinations, said Dr. Donald Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

“There’s just a sense of frustration,” said Williamson, who used to head the Alabama Department of Public Health. “The fact that cases are rising is a self-inflicted injury.”

Statistics show that only 50 people would currently be hospitalized if everyone who is eligible for a shot had gotten one, Williamson said, and chances are their illnesses wouldn't be as severe.

“This is the plague of our generation, and certainly of our lifetime. And now it could be so easily averted, but we’re failing to do that,” he said.

Only 38% of the state's population has gotten at least one vaccine dose and just 31% is fully vaccinated, state statistics showed, yet the daily pace of vaccinations has slowed to roughly the same amount that were being given months ago when doses were scarce. Relatively few people still take precautions in public, and businesses full of people are a common sight.

Without a rapid turnaround in vaccinations, Williamson said, health officials worry that cases will continue increasing as highly contagious virus variants spread through the population at stores, churches, restaurants, bars, sports contests and other public events.

Rather than reimposing restrictions like mandatory mask wearing, capacity limits for businesses or shutdowns, Gov. Kay Ivey has said the only thing she supports is encouraging people to use their “common sense,” show personal responsibility and get shots.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases inn Alabama has increased by 694, a spike of 573%. There were about 197 new cases per 100,000 people during the period, which ranked 11th nationally, with the largest increases along the coast in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

Some 11,436 people have died of COVID-19 in Alabama, giving the state the 17th highest death rate nationally. Alabama has reported more than 560,000 positive tests, and the percentage of tests coming back positive is on the rise.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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Canadian high pressure will continue to build into our area over the next few days. This will bring into our area some of the coolest air of the season so far. Some folks will see overnight lows down into the middle to upper 40s.
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