With nation-wide protests commanding news headlines recently, COVID-19 has taken a backseat in our minds—but that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. Cases are still climbing in Alabama, and the state’s “safer at home” order is still in effect. Here are the latest updates regarding COVID-19 in our state and city.
COVID-19 in Alabama at a glance
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama has seen at least 20,590 cases of COVID-19, with 714 confirmed deaths. As expected, total cases of COVID-19 in Alabama have continued to grow. According to Alabama Department of Public Health, the number of new cases per day has fluctuated but is trending higher.
As of June 8, Jefferson County has 2,078 cases of COVID-19 and 109 deaths, according to the ADPH.
How is COVID-19 trending?
Unless you’re a master at data interpretation, it’s easy to get lost in the hundreds of graphs and charts online. However, one helpful resource is the RO number.
Pronounced “R-naught”, the number refers to how many other people will catch the disease from a single infected person, in a population that hasn’t been exposed to the disease before. If below 1, the epidemic will eventually die out—above 1, and the virus will grow exponentially.
According to BamaTracker.com and epiforecasts.io, Alabama’s R0 appears to be trending above 1, meaning we might see an increase of new cases in the coming months.
How Alabama is Responding
COVID-19 Timeline in Alabama:
- March 13: Alabama announced its first known cases of coronavirus in a person, leading Governor Ivey to declare a state of emergency.
- March 16: Alabama Department of Public Health announced recommendations concerning public gatherings, food establishment and other retail venues, and businesses, including no mass gatherings of 50+ persons or more.
- Birmingham and Jefferson County declared a state of emergency regarding COVID-19, which allowed for the Emergency Management Agency to implement its emergency powers.
- March 18: Alabama prohibits all non-work related gatherings of 25+ persons or any non-work related gatherings that cannot maintain consistent six-foot spacing between people.
- March 24: Birmingham issues a stay-at-home order (as a 24-hour curfew) effective through April 3, and the first COVID-19 related death occurs in Jackson County.
- March 27: Alabama orders all “non-essential businesses” to be closed until April 17— such as barbershops, furniture stores, gyms, casinos, theaters, arcades, night clubs, salons and spas.
- April 4: Alabama issued a statewide “stay at home” order encouraging Alabamians to limit their time spent around other people. The order expired on April 30.
- May 21: Alabama amends “safer at home” order, which allowed some businesses to reopen as long as they abided by state health guidelines. This order is in effect until July 3, 2020 at 5PM.
- June 6: Jefferson County began to lift restrictions on businesses closed due to the virus. However, these businesses must still abide by the state order, which covers social distancing, masks, sanitation and limits on the number of people allowed at a time.
To learn more about how Birmingham is responding to COVID-19, check out the City’s webpage.
COVID-19 Resources in Birmingham
Stay up to date on COVID-19 in Alabama:
- Alabama Department of Public Health
- New York Times—Alabama Map & Case Count
- UAB’s Dr. Ellen Eaton Coronavirus Updates
There are several testing facilities throughout Birmingham—check out our previous article to see how to get tested for COVID-19.
In addition, Community Grief Support is launching their “Hang-A-Heart” Care Campaign. By hanging blue hearts in windows or mailboxes, businesses and individuals in Birmingham can show their support for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
In the meantime, remember to abide by these five precautions, in order to do your part in limiting the spread of COVID-19:
- STAY at home as much as you can.
- KEEP a safe distance.
- WASH hands often.
- COVER your cough.
- SICK? Call ahead.