Daily cases of COVID-19 have dropped nearly 88% in Alabama and 77% nationwide since the first week of January.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 485 daily cases on Feb. 22 — down from 3,885 on Jan. 1 — and the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 71,214 cases on Feb. 20, which is down from a spike of 315,106 daily cases nationally on Jan. 8. The current rate of daily cases reflects what was being reported in October 2020.
“The decline, we assume, is a combination of people getting vaccinated and following the guidelines,” Rose Myers, Director of Volunteer Services at Marshall Medical Centers, said. “Whatever the reason, it’s great news.”
Marshall County EMA Director Anita McBurnett said she believes the reason for the significant decline has to do with a combination of weather, behavioral changes and vaccinations, as well.
“We got through the holiday situation where everybody was getting together through the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years timeframe,” McBurnett told The Reporter. “Many families — after so many got sick during that period of time — I think too things a little bit more seriously and were wearing their masks more and that kind of thing.”
Though at-home isolation has been the norm for many during the pandemic, she said the spate of cold weather during recent months may have discouraged those who have been leaving the house more to stay inside where it’s warm.
“We’ve had some really cold temperatures and people have been isolated at home,” she said. “So couple that with people getting the vaccine and I think that’s what’s led to our overall decline from the best I can tell from the vantage point here in the state of Alabama.”
Due to limited supply the Marshall County Health Department is still only administering the vaccine to people needing their second dose. McBurnnett said another round of vaccines for first doses is scheduled tentatively to arrive during the first week of March.
So far, 768,331 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Alabama out of 1,035,475 delivered, according to ADPH.
As of Tuesday, the department reported 264,621 recoveries and 9,592 deaths out of 487,520 total cumulative cases statewide.
Marshall Counterty reported 9,685 total cases, 149 deaths and 41,150 total tested.
Etowah County reported 10,268 cases, 248 deaths, and 53,182 total tested.
DeKalb County reported 7,235 cases, 143 deaths, 28,210 total tested.
Blount County reported 4,629 cases, 106 deaths, and 21,806 total tested.