Base tells troops to prove vaccination as COVID cases rise

An Alabama military base has ordered troops to show proof of vaccination in order to go without face masks as the state sees an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Posted: Jul 15, 2021 9:21 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama military base has ordered troops to show proof of vaccination in order to go without face masks as the state sees an uptick in COVID-19 cases — a rise attributed to low vaccination rates in the state.

The measure was put in place Tuesday at Fort Rucker, the home of the Army’s aviation program. If a soldier is not wearing a mask, base leadership can ask soldiers to show their vaccination cards. In a video posted to Facebook, base officials said the measure is needed because of rising case numbers on the base and in surrounding counties.

Alabama, which has the lowest vaccination rates in the country, is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. State Health Officer Scott Harris said that is likely driven both by the low vaccination rates and the spread of the contagious delta variant of the virus.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Alabama has risen over the past two weeks from 205.43 new cases per day on June 28 to 559.57 new cases per day on July 12. In Alabama only about 33% of the population is fully vaccinated compared to about 48% nationally, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We do have concern about the numbers,” Harris told The Associated Press

“Clearly that’s playing a large role,” Harris said of the delta variant. “And it’s definitely because people are unvaccinated. It’s not the vaccinated people that are getting infected for the most part and if they do for the most part they aren’t the ones getting sick in the hospital."

Of the 529 COVID-19 deaths in Alabama since April 1, only 20 people were fully vaccinated, the Alabama Department of Public Health said. Harris said those deaths were largely preventable if people were vaccinated.

“The COVID vaccine is the foremost and primary tool with have to stop the pandemic. Period," Harris said. “We have three safe and effective vaccines. There is no reason not to take them except in some very rare cases where a person might not be eligible.”

However, the state is unlikely to see the caseloads that came in December and January when as many as 3,000 people were hospitalized, Harris said, because of the number of people who have been vaccinated or have some degree of immunity from previous infection.

“But we also have pockets where we have lots of unvaccinated people and those are absolutely going to have outbreaks,” Harris said.

One outbreak was reported Wednesday at the St. Clair County Jail in Ashville, where the sheriff said nearly one-fourth of the 160 inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Billy J. Murray said health officials and correctional staff tested all inmates and staff and found 37 positive inmates in a jail population of 160. He said all precautions are being followed to isolate and observe positive tested inmates.

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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