By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The state of Alabama reported 969 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday out of 16,939 tests administered. That is a slight downturn from the 1,220 new cases reported on Tuesday and brings Alabama’s total number of positive tests to 106,784, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The independent website BamaTracker.com, which compounds ADPH data, shows the seven-day average for newly reported cases at 854.
Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH told Alabama Daily News on Wednesday that these downward trends were a positive sign, but warned that Alabamians shouldn’t let their guard down.
“I think we need to look at our trends cautiously and be aware that certainly the measures of social distancing, practicing good hygiene, hand washing and the face mask order appear to have some effect, but we must remain consistent and we must remain diligent,” Landers said.
Bama Tracker Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations & 7-Day Average
Bama Tracker New COVID-19 Cases & 7-Day Average
The daily positive percentage rate is now 5.72% with the the 14-day average of positive tests now at 6.64%.
Landers said that according to ADPH’s county risk indicator dashboard, testing in many counties is meeting desired goals for the amount of tests to gauge level of community spread.
“We are meeting our testing goal and in some instances, we are exceeding that testing goal,” Landers said.
Nine deaths were reported on Wednesday bringing Alabama’s total number of deaths to 1,876. The 7-day average for deaths is now down to 8.86, the lowest it has been since June 22.
Landers said the state wide mask order, which has been in effect since July 16, is a contributing factor to the positive trends but can’t say if it’s the defining reason.
There are currently 1,198 people hospitalized due to COVID-19. The 7-day average for hospitalizations is now 1,284 which is the lowest it has been since the statewide face mask order went into effect.
“That’s still well over 1,000 people hospitalized and those are still very sick individuals requiring a lot of medical care so I think its improving but it’s certainly not where we need to be,” Landers said.
Landers said that college students reporting positive cases will be recorded according to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists guidelines which says reporting for colleges students will be wherever their usual place of residence is during an academic year.
Alabama has made free COIVD-19 testing available for all returning college students and most schools have required a negative test in order to return to campus.
Auburn University is reporting that currently 32 students and 8 employees on Auburn’s campus have tested positive from Aug. 8-14.
On Monday, early results reported from the University of Alabama showed a less than 1% positive test rate among the students reporting tests.
According to the most recent numbers available, 237 UA students tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 25,948 who completed testing either at one of the 13 GuideSafe testing sites statewide, through a mail-in test or by a personal physician.
Troy University is recording how many students and employees test positive across all their campuses, and off-campus students. Samford University in Birmingham is also recording their case numbers online.