Alabama’s COVID hospitalizations drop by 33% in 3 weeks

Alabama has seen the number of COVID-19 hospital patients drop from 2,890 on Sept. 1 to 1,947...
Alabama has seen the number of COVID-19 hospital patients drop from 2,890 on Sept. 1 to 1,947 on Aug. 20, a 33% decline over a three-week period.(Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Data from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association continues to point toward a decline in cases and hospitalizations related to the latest COVID-19 surge.

Alabama’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate continues to decline, down by nearly 33% in just three weeks, according to ADPH’s Data and Surveillance Dashboard.

The latest pandemic surge plateaued at 2,890 COVID patients on Sept. 1. On Monday, the state’s hospitals were treating 1,947 for the disease. That’s a drop of nearly 950 patients for a healthcare system that’s been in a crisis situation for months.

Health leaders with both ADPH and the hospital association have noted the decline is due, at least in some part, to a number of COVID patient deaths. The state’s COVID death rate remains in the double-digits. The hospital association reported 42 deaths in the past day and 500 in the last 10. That data could change as ADPH works to confirm the exact number of deaths attributable to COVID, which can take several weeks.

The state’s ICU bed crisis has continued to ease after climbing out of a monthlong deficit on Friday. The hospital association said Monday that there were 1,543 staffed ICU beds and 1,517 ICU patients, giving hospitals a surplus of 26 beds. Of those in an ICU bed, 44% are COVID patients.

Another indicator that the surge is easing can be found in the number of positive test cases. Alabama reached a nation-leading peak of 25% at one point during the surge, meaning one in four who were tested for COVID came back positive for the virus.

In the last seven days, about 80,000 COVID tests have been reported, with almost 13,000 coming back positive. That means the rate of positive tests has since fallen to about 16%. ADPH reported 1,920 new confirmed cases in the past day.

Vaccination rates have continued to increase as a result of the surge. As of Friday, Alabama was ahead of eight states when looking at residents who have gotten their first shot, and ahead of three states for people who are fully vaccinated.

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