No COVID-19 spike after Labor Day; State health leader ‘pleasantly surprised’

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 8:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State Health Officer Scott Harris said he is “pleasantly surprised” to find there was not a dramatic COVID-19 case spike after Labor Day.

“So far, our numbers have remained fairly flat. I wish they were better,” Harris said. “I would say we’ve not seen a big spike from Labor Day."

Monday marks two weeks since the holiday. In the past, Alabama had experienced spikes after July Fourth and Memorial Day.

“We were really worried because of what we’d seen around the Fourth of July and Memorial Day,” he said.

Daily case numbers for the most part bounced between 400 and 700 with occasional spikes.

“Hospitalization numbers are better,” he said. "Total new cases per day are relatively flat.”

Experts said this is in part because of the statewide mask mandate. Labor Day was the first holiday with a statewide mask mandate.

“We do have a college kids back on campuses. We do have the resumption of spectator sports in a lot of ways,” he said. "So I think the mask mandate has helped to sort of mitigate the effects of all these groups of people getting out and getting together again.”

Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson gave credit to the mask mandate.

“I think the mask ordinance work more people wore their mask while engaging in gatherings around Labor Day and I think that as a direct result, we are seeing fewer hospitalizations and we might have feared," he explained.

Williamson also points out that Alabama’s hospitalizations are back to where the state was the week before July Fourth.

“It took us all of July and all of August to get back to that same level because of the spike associated with the Fourth of July,” he said.

The governor’s statewide mask mandate has been extended until Oct. 2. We could expect an update from the governor before that expiration date.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.