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: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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Wednesday starts off in the nice middle 60s, even some towns down into the lower 60s. We will stay with plenty of sunshine as we go through the day. Most of our high temperatures on Wednesday will be well into the 80s to near 90 degrees in the afternoon.
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