MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have fallen precipitously in recent days and weeks, a positive sign after months of a surging delta variant.
As of Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 839 COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals. That’s down from 2,417 one month ago and from the delta peak of 2,890 on Sept. 1.
Late last week, Gov. Kay Ivey extended through the end of this month what her office called a “limited, narrowly-focused state of emergency” put into effect in August in an effort to combat the delta variant.
Between early September and last week, the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases per day in Alabama dropped more than 70 percent, Ivey’s office said.
The proclamation relaxes some regulations to help allow expanded capacity in health care facilities, additional liability protections, increased authority for frontline health care personnel and easier shipment of emergency equipment and supplies. It also allows out-of-state doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to practice in Alabama under expedited licenses or temporary permits.
As of Monday, 43 counties still had high community transmissions rates, that’s down from 64 of 67 counties nearly three weeks ago when ADPH officials encouraged Alabamians not to let down their guards against COVID. A high community transmission rate means more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days and a percent positive test rate of more than 10% the past seven days.
About 2.02 million Alabamians are now fully vaccinated, according to the ADPH.
To date, 14,859 Alabamians’ deaths have been attributed to the virus, more than half of those happening this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.