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Health officials fear virus surge after July 4 celebrations

After a surge in coronavirus cases following Memorial Day, doctors and public health experts fear Alabama will see another spike after this weekend’s July Fourth holiday celebrations.

Posted: Jul 4, 2020 7:49 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — After a surge in coronavirus cases following Memorial Day, doctors and public health experts fear Alabama will see another spike after this weekend’s July Fourth holiday celebrations.

“Fourth of July is very worrisome,” State Health Officer Scott Harris said. “It is really important for people to do all the things that we’ve been trying to get them to do.”

“It’s hard to prove Memorial Day gatherings were the cause of what we just went through in June, but I believe they were. It certainly makes sense as far as the timetable," Harris said.

Barbecues, parades and any large gathering have the potential to spread the virus. In the hopes of avoiding another surge, health officials pleaded with people to use caution by avoiding large crowds and wearing masks over their mouths and noses while in public spaces.

Alabama this week reached new records for the highest number of infections reported in a day with more than 1,700 cases.

Alabama has reported more than 42,000 cases of the new coronavirus since the pandemic began with more than 25% of infections being reported in the last two weeks, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. So far, at least 983 Alabamians have died after contracting the virus.

Alabama this week hit a new high for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and a new low for the number of available intensive care unit beds.

Dr. Don Williamson, a former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, said that as of Thursday, the state had 840 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and that 84% of the state’s ICU beds were full, the highest number since the pandemic began.

“I’m really, really worried about the Fourth of July. I think that will likely determine the trend for Alabama for the rest of the summer,” Williamson said.

Williamson said hospitals are managing but that the trends are concerning.

Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who also had COVID-19, said large gatherings are “havens” for the virus to spread.

“We are seeing such numbers coming at us that it’s hard to deny the truth that it’s here and it’s getting worse,” Saag said

“My hope is people are waking up to the fact that this is not a fun and games exercise and that this is serious business.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 764839

Reported Deaths: 13048
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1089971721
Mobile698041173
Madison48181574
Baldwin35619445
Shelby35053289
Tuscaloosa32903508
Montgomery32475655
Lee21787203
Calhoun19941374
Morgan19234315
Etowah18509422
Marshall17217258
Houston16028347
St. Clair14866275
Limestone14059179
Elmore13943241
Cullman13942234
Lauderdale13030266
Talladega12307211
DeKalb11829226
Walker10171306
Autauga9439124
Blount9357149
Jackson9055136
Coffee8625157
Colbert8287164
Dale8241151
Escambia6436103
Tallapoosa6353166
Covington6291154
Chilton6215129
Russell590154
Franklin561294
Chambers5211130
Dallas4610176
Marion4579114
Clarke449471
Pike448289
Geneva4223102
Winston404685
Lawrence4040101
Bibb394776
Barbour337067
Marengo319979
Monroe310346
Butler308483
Pickens298369
Randolph291655
Henry291455
Hale285281
Cherokee278249
Fayette270671
Washington242645
Crenshaw231664
Clay220761
Macon213254
Cleburne208746
Lamar186339
Conecuh176538
Lowndes168756
Coosa162531
Wilcox153934
Bullock146842
Perry134035
Sumter122935
Greene118541
Choctaw72225
Out of AL00
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Columbus
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Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
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