On Thursday, Marshall Medical Centers announced it would stop providing daily COVID hospitalization records due to the declining number of inpatients. 

The hospital’s last report included 16 total hospitalizations due to COVID, with eight at each of its two campuses, Marshall Medical North and Marshall Medical South. Both North and South had one COVID patient in the intensive care unit, and South had one on a ventilator.

The decrease in COVID hospitalizations locally is inline with the statewide trend. 

As of Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 1,321 confirmed hospitalizations, down from 1,732 a week ago and from 2,890 on Sept. 1.

The state’s vaccination rate has risen some during the past couple months, to 52% receiving one dose and 42% fully vaccinated, according to USAfacts.org. The ADPH reports 4,305,070 doses have been administered so far.

Statewide, COVID cases have been declining, now totaling 409,961 this year on top of 388,359 in 2020. Confirmed deaths for 2021 have already surpassed last year’s number — 7,205 compared to 7,188 — with the highest rates occurring throughout August and early September. Since then, confirmed deaths reported by the ADPH have been declining dramatically, despite reports of other news outlets saying daily death numbers were in the triple digits. 

The Reporter reached out to the ADPH to ask where those reports of higher death counts might be coming from and whether or not they were accurate. Though the health department would not comment directly on those reports, Dr. Karen Landers said the health department only posts data to its online dashboard that it has confirmed.

“ADPH works to provide information that has been vetted by our team in terms of accuracy related to COVID-19 deaths,” Landers told The Reporter. “Data that is not part of the ADPH Dashboard has not been reviewed by our team.  ADPH Data and Surveillance remains the most accurate source for all data related to COVID 19.”

On Friday, the ADPH reported the following data for counties in our coverage area:

Marshall County: 17,996 cumulative cases; 282 total deaths.

DeKalb County: 12,314 cumulative cases; 246 total deaths.

Etowah County: 19,523 cumulative cases; 470 total deaths.

Blount County: 9,852 cumulative cases; 161 total deaths.

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