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Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations soar more than 400% in 3 weeks

Alabama COVID-19 hospitalization rates have climbed by more than 400% in the first three weeks...
Alabama COVID-19 hospitalization rates have climbed by more than 400% in the first three weeks of July from 179 on July 3 to 916 on July 26.(Source: Alabama Department of Public Health)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 3:33 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama hospitals are seeing COVID-19 admission rates soar to levels not seen since before a vaccine was available to the public.

On July 3, there were a total of 179 inpatients being treated for the disease in hospitals around the state. It’s just over three weeks later and that number has climbed to 957.

That’s a 435% increase in a span of 23 days.

The last time Alabama saw hospitalization rates above Monday’s mark was on Feb. 19 when there were 949 cases. At that point, however, hospitalizations were on a steady decline from a peak of 3,070 set on Jan. 12.

To find a day in which the state rose to Monday’s mark, Alabama would have to look back to Oct. 24 when there were 911 inpatients. That time frame marked the beginning of the months-long rise to the 3,070 peak.

About one-third of the state’s population has taken advantage of free COVID-19 vaccines, leaving the other 66% either partially or fully unvaccinated as the virus continues to mutate into more aggressive variants.

Alabama has ranked last among all states for its vaccination rates for more than a month. Increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as those stagnant vaccination rates, have left Gov. Kay Ivey publicly exasperated.

Ivey, who allowed mask and public health orders to expire while touting Alabamians’ personal responsibility, not government mandates, as the answer, spoke out Thursday telling reporters that “folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

The Alabama Department of Public Health has called a Tuesday morning news conference to discuss the state’s “mitigation efforts” against the pandemic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to clarify data with an updated number of hospitalizations as of July 26. It was initially reported there were 916 hospitalizations. ADPH reports there were actually 957. That subsequently raises the 23-day increase from 411%, as reported, to 435%.

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