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Alabama officials wait and see after COVID-19 bump
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Alabama officials wait and see after COVID-19 bump

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BIRMINGHAM — COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped about 20 percent in less than two weeks in Alabama, but state officials don’t see another coming crisis in the pandemic.

Statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed 362 people were hospitalized Monday for the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

Despite being up from the 301 patients just 10 days earlier, the total was still just a fraction of the 3,070 patients who pushed the state's intensive care wards to near capacity in mid-January.

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The increase in cases is concerning, but it doesn't immediately threaten the state's health care system because the number of people being treated remains far below levels from earlier this year, said Dr. Don Williamson, chief executive of the Alabama Hospital Association.

Also, he said, a major spike in the number of severely ill patients isn't expected because more and more people are being vaccinated and increasing numbers of patients are young people, who tend to fare better than older patients with health complications.

“It’s nothing dramatic, but it’s something we need to be aware is happening," said Williamson, who previously served as state health officer.

State, local numbers

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reported 1,443 new cases of COVID-19 statewide Tuesday, but local numbers continue to be low and slow.

Lee County reported four new cases. Macon County had four new cases, Russell County had one new case, Chambers County reported four new cases and Tallapoosa reported six new cases, according to Bamatracker.com.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 523,955 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Alabama.

The following are confirmed cases, probable cases and combined total cases as of Tuesday afternoon:

Chambers County – 1,745 confirmed, 1,778 probable, 3,523 combined

Lee County – 8,733 confirmed, 6,909 probable, 15,642 combined

Macon County – 1,237 confirmed, 332 probable, 1,569 combined

Russell County – 3,234 confirmed, 1,079 probable, 4,313 combined

Tallapoosa County – 2,785 confirmed, 1,143 probable, 3,928 combined

New confirmed and probable cases in east Alabama counties over the last two weeks, as well as deaths from COVID-19 in the last week:

Chambers County — 24, 0

Lee County — 142, 1

Macon County — 24, 1

Russell County — 40, 1

Tallapoosa County — 34, 2

As of Tuesday, there have been 10,798 confirmed and probable deaths since the start of the pandemic in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Of those deaths in Alabama, 122 are from Chambers County, 166 from Lee County, 49 from Macon County, 39 from Russell County and 148 from Tallapoosa County.

Vaccine time slots available

All citizens age 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama. Appointment times are available for the Community Vaccine Clinic at 1716 Opelika Rd. in Auburn, across from the Auburn Mall.

To register, visit https://www.eastalcovidvaccine.com/login.

Anyone willing to volunteer at the clinic may register at https://app.vomo.org/invite/org/auburnumc.

Mike Eads contributed to this report.

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