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.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5269106
DeSoto332627
Madison229756
Harrison215232
Rankin214628
Jackson199434
Jones177457
Forrest164053
Washington149232
Lauderdale132988
Lee123930
Neshoba119788
Lamar112112
Oktibbeha105435
Lowndes98932
Warren96427
Scott95517
Bolivar94832
Copiah91724
Panola91211
Sunflower90822
Lafayette88111
Holmes84747
Leflore84059
Pike83232
Grenada81320
Yazoo78611
Leake76825
Lincoln74540
Pontotoc7377
Wayne73321
Simpson71227
Monroe70250
Coahoma66310
Tate65023
Marion60118
Covington58811
Adams58425
Marshall5718
Winston57115
George5475
Union53113
Newton51611
Attala49824
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48536
Walthall45318
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee41910
Claiborne40013
Smith38013
Calhoun3788
Jasper3768
Clay37013
Alcorn3574
Prentiss3426
Hancock33614
Tishomingo3204
Lawrence3135
Tippah31212
Yalobusha31210
Itawamba30710
Clarke30025
Montgomery2933
Tunica2786
Humphreys27111
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Quitman2251
Kemper22315
Perry2227
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis2026
Webster19912
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1523
Choctaw1274
Benton1250
Franklin1162
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11859225
Mobile9086191
Montgomery6249143
Madison501425
Tuscaloosa397463
Baldwin321023
Shelby305032
Marshall296630
Unassigned273453
Lee250540
Morgan222315
Etowah193026
DeKalb170113
Elmore160237
Calhoun15609
Walker147063
Houston131912
Dallas128823
Russell12331
St. Clair121712
Franklin119620
Limestone119613
Cullman114111
Colbert109312
Lauderdale107112
Autauga102420
Escambia97915
Talladega91813
Jackson8283
Chambers82138
Tallapoosa81478
Dale78520
Butler75235
Blount7363
Chilton7106
Coffee7095
Covington70920
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55224
Marion54224
Marengo52014
Clarke4869
Hale45926
Bullock43811
Perry4294
Winston42911
Wilcox4059
Monroe3914
Randolph38810
Bibb3743
Conecuh37310
Pickens3679
Sumter36118
Lawrence3100
Washington31011
Macon30913
Crenshaw2863
Choctaw27412
Henry2453
Cherokee2427
Greene24211
Geneva2320
Clay2175
Lamar1982
Fayette1745
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
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