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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: 297321

Reported Deaths: 6805
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19814231
Hinds18949395
Harrison16886282
Rankin12842265
Jackson12750234
Lee9720163
Madison9516204
Jones8035148
Forrest7289138
Lauderdale6872228
Lowndes6061140
Lamar593381
Lafayette5767114
Washington5232130
Bolivar4630124
Oktibbeha443095
Panola433698
Pearl River4212132
Warren4144115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall405995
Monroe3996129
Union397174
Neshoba3848171
Lincoln3624104
Hancock352978
Leflore3400121
Sunflower320986
Tate303974
Pike302697
Scott296171
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292066
Itawamba290675
Coahoma283069
Tippah280065
Copiah279959
Simpson277581
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255641
Leake254172
Covington250280
Grenada248878
Adams235778
George232745
Newton232753
Winston222179
Jasper214145
Tishomingo213266
Attala206971
Chickasaw201954
Holmes182870
Clay179452
Stone173429
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170773
Calhoun158628
Smith153833
Yalobusha145736
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123235
Lawrence121421
Carroll119425
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99824
Claiborne99030
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91423
Quitman77514
Franklin76420
Choctaw70117
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
Lauderdale8628214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
Conecuh107224
Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
Choctaw55723
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