Alabama adding 2,000 virus cases daily as hospitals fill

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, November 18, 2020

More than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been added daily over the last week across Alabama as hospitals treat more and more people suffering from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

With caseloads on a steady rise since Nov. 8, the rolling seven-date average of new cases reached 2,040 on Tuesday, a slight improvement from a day earlier, statistics showed. Virus-related illness is at its highest point in the state since August.

The pace of deaths has increased since late October as the state’s death toll rose above 3,300 people, and nearly 1,300 people are hospitalized, the most in three months.

With a statewide mask order already in place through Dec. 11 but occupancy limits dropped in order to help the economy, the Business Council of Alabama announced it was starting a campaign to oppose a shutdown similar to what happened in the spring.

“BCA encourages Alabamians to follow all health guidelines and orders. COVID-19 poses a serious health threat to our citizens and communities. Personal responsibility and buy-in is needed to Keep Alabama Open,” the organization said in a statement.

Gov. Kay Ivey, who has repeatedly stressed personal responsibility in combatting the virus, has “absolutely no intentions to close businesses,” said spokeswoman Gina Maiola.

“The governor appreciates this effort by the business community to partner with her as she works to make this a reality,” she said.

While COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms in most people, it can be deadly for the elderly and people with other, serious health problems.