MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials are beginning to issue color-coded rankings on the spread of COVID-19 in counties, and on Saturday, much of the state was listed as high or moderately high.
State Health Officer Scott Harris said in a telephone interview this week that the display is meant to give people and local officials information in a form that is “easy to see.” The rankings on the state dashboard grade the counties by the infection rate per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.
The color-coded rankings come as health officials have expressed alarm over the state’s continuing upward trend in cases.
“It’s meant to just inform the public. So at least everyone can agree, we’re a red county, or an orange county or a green county,” Harris said.
See the live updated chart at https://covid19.alabama.gov.
He said the department will eventually offer guidance based on the rankings, but the state will not issue mandated closures based on it.
“We are not going to impose health orders based on the colors,” Harris said.
As of Saturday, Alabama had more than 29,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and 828 confirmed deaths.
The state this week reached the highest level of hospitalizations with more than 670 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state.
The city of Montgomery on Friday implemented an ordinance mandating face masks to be worn in public when 10 or more people were present. Mayor Steven Reed issued an executive order on the masks after the measure failed before the Montgomery City Council. The proposal ended in a tie vote.