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COVID-19 hospitalizations decline 5% across Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has decreased about 5% in Alabama since last week, a potential sign of improvement in the fight against the pandemic.

Statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed 2,805 people were being treated for the illness on Monday, down from 2,961 last Tuesday.

Hospitalizations increase or decrease daily, and some hospitals are still struggling with an influx of illness, patients in intensive care on ventilators and staff shortages. But the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 dropped to a still-high 36% after exceeding 40% for nearly four weeks straight.

“Things are not getting worse,” said Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

The entire state remains in the danger zone with high levels of community transmission, yet the improvement has some health officials hopeful amid a wave of illness linked to the highly-contagious omicron variant and Alabama’s low vaccination rate. About 49% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, and 33% have had booster doses, according to federal statistics.

Moore than 17,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, giving Alabama that nation’s fourth-highest death rate from the illness. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 14,114.5, or about 127%.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Williamson on Capitol Journal below.

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