MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama health officials are encouraged by a decline in coronavirus cases a month after a statewide mask order.
State Health Officer Scott Harris says the numbers are improving but warned people shouldn’t abandon precautions heading into Labor Day gatherings and school openings.
The seven-day average number of daily cases has dropped below 1,000, after reaching 1,800 in mid-July. The number of hospitalized patients has dropped from about 1,600 to 1,400, and the percent of positive tests has dropped from 16.7% to 12.3%.
Harris encouraged people to keep wearing masks. He says the numbers may be declining because the surge of cases after the July 4 holiday has ended and the statewide mask order in July “played a role” in lowering the numbers.
Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who heads the Alabama Hospital Association, says the next concern is a possible spike when students return to schools and colleges and gather for the Labor Day weekend.
Williamson says while the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals has dropped, 89% of ICU beds are full.