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Nearly all Alabama counties now at ‘very high risk’ for COVID-19 spread

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:21 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In just about a month’s time, Alabama has seen almost 90 percent of its counties climb to the ‘very high risk’ category for spread of COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s risk indicator map.

June saw a point when there were just six counties in that category, but within two weeks that number more than quadrupled to 26 counties by July 8.

Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 8, 2021, shows a jump from six 'very high risk'...
Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 8, 2021, shows a jump from six 'very high risk' counties to 26 in a matter of two weeks. (Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)

Then, by July 15, it nearly doubled to 47 counties.

Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 15, 2021, shows a jump from 26 counties at 'very...
Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 15, 2021, shows a jump from 26 counties at 'very high risk' to 47.(Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)

As of July 22, the number has jumped to 59 counties.

Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 22, 2021, shows a jump from 47 'very high risk'...
Alabama COVID-19 risk indicator map for July 22, 2021, shows a jump from 47 'very high risk' counties to 59. (Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)

Only eight counties remain below the very high risk designation, though Lamar and Marengo counties are just one step below the most serious designation at ‘High Risk’, followed by Choctaw at ‘Moderate Risk’, according to ADPH.

Meanwhile, only Bullock, Cleburne, Perry, Pickens and Sumter remain at ‘Low Risk’.

A county’s risk level is reflected in ADPH’s color-coded map, which changes based on whether case counts increase or decrease. Below is a description of each risk level:

  • If the number of cases stays the same or is increasing, they will be Very High Risk (Red).
  • If a county has decreasing case counts for one to six days, they will be High Risk (Orange).
  • If a county is in a downward trajectory of seven to 13 days, they will be Moderate (Yellow).
  • If a county is in a downward trajectory of 14 or more days (or has a rate of 10 or less over the previous two weeks), they will be considered Low Risk (Green).

The Delta variant also is continuing to spread across the state. ADPH says it is about 50 percent more transmissible.

While vaccines are readily available for those 12 years and older, only about 33 percent of the state’s residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Alabama has had 565,510 total confirmed cases of the virus and 11,468 deaths since March 2020.

Hospitalizations in Alabama are also up. As of Thursday, 646 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to ADPH. One week ago, 371 patients were hospitalized. Two weeks ago, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 was 249.

ADPH says 1,902,653 people have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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