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Alabama adds nearly 4,000 COVID cases, breaks single day record following latest backlog – AL.com

Alabama added a record 3,928 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, but the Alabama Department of Public Health reports 706 of those are old. But even without those old cases, the state added more than 3,000 cases overnight – a number that would have been a record for new cases in a day without a backlog.

It’s the second consecutive day the state has included older cases in its daily update, something that happens when one of the many labs throughout the state is late in sharing its numbers with ADPH. Wednesday’s backlog includes confirmed cases from between Nov. 23 and Nov. 29.

For reference, Alabama was shattering records for 7-day average at that time, and it now seems even those high numbers may have been artificially low.

The consecutive backlogs have shot the state’s 7-day average for new cases through the roof – the number now stands at 2,501 new cases per day, an artificially high number.

[Can’t see the chart? Click here.]

ADPH has a page on its coronavirus dashboard that shows 7-day average by infectious date, but it’s better used as a tool to examine the state’s history with the virus, not where the fight is today.

Even without Wednesday’s backlog, Alabama is adding more cases now than it has at any time since the pandemic began. The state’s positivity rate is currently 35 percent – among the highest in the nation. And hospitals are filling up. On Tuesday, ADPH reported a record 1,785 coronavirus patients were being treated in Alabama hospitals.

The state’s 7-day average for current virus inpatients rose to 1,593 on Tuesday, a new record.

[Can’t see the chart? Click here.]

The state also reported 73 new virus deaths on Wednesday, around 20 of which we know to have occurred since the start of November, though that number is likely to go up. It sometimes takes weeks, or longer, for a date to be associated with a virus death. Wednesday’s batch of deaths also includes at least one from as far back as April.

Where are the cases?

Jefferson County, the most populous county in the state and home to Birmingham, continues to add the most cases in Alabama. A record 688 new cases were reported there on Wednesday, though it’s unclear how many of those, if any, were due to the data backlog. Jefferson County’s 7-day average for new cases broke 400 for the first time Wednesday, and now stands at 403.

No other county was close to the number of cases in Jefferson Wednesday, but three added over 200 cases. Tuscaloosa added 225; Etowah, home of Gadsden, added 213; and Madison, home of Huntsville, added 202.

Bibb County, a small county just south of Birmingham, added 20 new deaths to its tally on Wednesday – that’s more than half of its total since the pandemic began. It’s unclear when those deaths actually occurred. Barbour County, in southeast Alabama, reported 18 deaths Wednesday – also more than half its total.

You can see how many cases and deaths each county reported Wednesday – and since March – in the table below:

[Can’t see the table? Click here.]

Do you have an idea for a data story about Alabama? Email Ramsey Archibald at rarchibald@al.com, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyArchibald. Read more Alabama data stories here.

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OSDH: 2,859 New COVID-19 Cases, 54 More Virus-Related Deaths Reported – News On 6

Fifty-four more virus-related deaths and 2,859 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state since Tuesday, according to daily numbers released by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

A total of 202,341 Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19 and the total number of virus-related deaths increased to 1,812, the state health department said on Wednesday. 

This is the largest single-day reporting increase of virus-related deaths in the state since the pandemic began in March.

The state health department said the deaths happened between Oct. 24 through Nov. 30 and 37 out of the 54 deaths happened since Nov. 26.

Forty-seven of the deaths were of people aged 65 or older, six deaths were of people aged 50 to 64 and one was of a person aged 18 to 35.

Fifteen people died in Oklahoma County; eight women aged 65 or older, one man aged 50 to 64 and six men aged 65 or older.

Nine people died in Tulsa County; one woman aged 50 to 64, three women aged 65 or older, one man aged 50 to 64 and four men aged 65 or older.

Four people died in Canadian County; two women aged 65 or older and two men aged 65 or older.

Four people died in Bryan County; a woman and three men aged 65 or older.

Two people died in Ottawa County; one woman aged 50 to 64 and one woman aged 65 or older.

Two people died in Pontotoc County; a woman and a man aged 65 or older.

Two people died in Wagoner County; a man aged 18 to 35 and a man aged 65 or older.

One woman aged 65 or older died in Caddo County. One man aged 65 or older died in Cherokee County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Cleveland County.

One woman aged 65 or older died in Comanche County. One man aged 65 or older died in Cotton County. One man aged 65 or older died in Creek County.

One woman aged 50 to 64 died in Haskell County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Hughes County. One woman aged 50 to 64 died in Latimer County.

One man aged 65 or older died in Marshall County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Murray County. One man aged 65 or older died in Okmulgee County.

One woman aged 65 or older died in Pawnee County. One man aged 65 or older died in Seminole County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Stephens County. One woman aged 65 or older died in Tillman County.

The health department said 29,624 cases are considered active in the state.

A total of 12,578 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to the virus with 1,545 currently in acute care OSDH licensed facilities and 128 currently in other types of facilities.

So far, 170,905 Oklahomans have recovered from the virus with 3,499 more cases considered recovered since Tuesday. Health officials said recovered means the patient is not hospitalized or deceased and it has been 14 days since the onset of symptoms or report.

As of Wednesday morning, 1,940,738 tests have returned negative since testing began in February.

Click here to view the state’s COVID-19 data.

As cases and hospitalizations continued to spike upward, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued new actions to help combat the spread.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, bars and restaurants will close at 11 p.m. for in-person service and tables will have to be spaced six feet apart or dividers will have to be used.

A mask mandate was issued for state employees and for people wishing to have access to state buildings.

The state health department corrected Nov. 7’s daily total on Nov. 8, and opted to not release a new daily COVID-19 totals from Saturday to Sunday.

Health officials said it removed the duplicate cases from the total but it only dropped the total cases down from 4,741 to 4,507, a 234 drop.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye issued the following statement on Nov. 8:

“Today’s individual case number, 4,507, is a corrected version of yesterday’s number with all duplicate cases removed. Today we will not be releasing a new daily case number, allowing our data reporting system to catch up and ensure duplications are removed from the daily number prior to release moving forward. Starting tomorrow, the daily number released will not include any duplicates. We are committed to giving the public and media accurate and transparent data, and this will ensure the daily number reflects the actual case count. We will continue to point to the 7-day average, percent positivity and hospitalizations in addition to the daily number to give a more complete picture of trends. We have no reason to believe our revised number is an anomaly, but instead shows community spread is occurring. We continue to urge all Oklahomans to take this highly-contagious virus seriously and act immediately to avoid large gatherings, wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance to others. Together we can bring these numbers down and protect our friends, family and neighbors.”

Stitt released a statement on Nov. 7 and asked Oklahomans “to do the right thing” and to follow CDC guidelines — practice social distancing, wear a face mask and wash your hands regularly — to help slow the spread.

On Sept. 8, the state health department said it has begun the transition to include antigen test results to the state’s data collection and reporting system. A positive antigen test result is considered a “probable” case, while a positive molecular test result is consider a “confirmed” case.

Antigen testing is a rapid test that can be completed in less than an hour. Molecular tests usually take days before results are made available.

On July 15, Stitt said he had tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first governor in the country to test positive for the virus. He has since posted video updates of concerning his health and quarantine.

Oklahoma reported its first child death related to the virus on July 12. The child was a 13-year-old daughter of a soldier stationed at Fort Sill.

Shortly after the report of the girl’s death, state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister recommended for all Oklahomans to wear face masks to allow the safely reopening of schools in the fall.

On June 30, Stitt wore a face mask and “strongly encouraged” Oklahomans to follow CDC guidelines pertaining to face masks.

More: Gov. Stitt Recommends Wearing Face Masks During Update Concerning COVID-19 In State

On April 28, Stitt said anyone who wished to take a COVID-19 test could do so even if they are not presenting symptoms.

Related: Gov. Stitt Presents State’s Coronavirus Figures To Show Oklahoma Is Ready To Reopen

The state health department advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever or coughing to stay home and limit person-to-person engagement. 

Previous Day: 1,737 New COVID-19 Cases, 15 More Virus-Related Deaths Reported In State, Health Officials Say

The state coronavirus hotline is 877-215-8336 or 211. For a list of coronavirus (COVID-19) links and resources, click here.

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Tidal wave of coronavirus cases in Alabama could soon overrun state’s hospitals, warns official – Fox News

Alabama’s recent increase in coronavirus cases — what one official described as a “tidal wave” — could soon overwhelm hospitals in the state.

On Tuesday alone, the state added some 3,376 new or probable cases of COVID-19, per state estimates. Hospitalizations have also been on an upward trend in recent weeks, with 1,785 people in the state hospitalized due to COVID-19, also as of Tuesday.

Alabama’s recent increase in coronavirus cases — what one official described as a “tidal wave” — could soon overwhelm hospitals in the state. (iStock)

Alabama’s recent increase in coronavirus cases — what one official described as a “tidal wave” — could soon overwhelm hospitals in the state. (iStock)

Though hospitals have not yet reported shortages of beds or staff, one hospital official is concerned the recent uptick in cases could cause exactly that. 

“Now we’re going into the holiday season and we could really be in a situation in the next two to three weeks that compromises our ability to provide health care,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, according to AL.com. 

ICU DOCTOR EMBRACES CORONAVIRUS PATIENT IN VIRAL PHOTO

“We’ve been very cautious not to use alarmist terminology. We’ve been very cautious to always try to be scientifically accurate in our communications. But I think this is a time we need to start thinking about tidal wave imagery, tsunami imagery.

“If you look at our ICU bed situation right now in Alabama, it is not particularly optimistic,” Marrazzo added, noting that the numbers do not yet include new cases from Thanksgiving gatherings.

Health officials around the country have warned such festivities will likely lead to an increase in cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks. 

“You could conceivably see a true need for setting up ancillary care places in three weeks,” she continued. “I hope that doesn’t happen. Are we looking at the kind of situation that New York City experienced in March? Again, it depends. A lot depends on what happened over Thanksgiving weekend.”

CORONAVIRUS WAS PRESENT IN US EARLIER THAN INITIALLY THOUGHT: STUDY

While it’s too late to prevent spikes related to Thanksgiving, it is not too late to prevent such spikes related to Christmas gatherings, said  Marrazzo. She pleaded with Alabamians to take precautions as the holiday season approaches, such as avoiding large gatherings and wearing a face mask around those who do not live in the same household. 

“We just have to continue to present people with facts,” Marrazzo said, according to AL.com. “Appeal to their better nature. Appeal to their community spirit and just beg them to help us get through the next couple of months until we can really get enough vaccine out there to help protect people for the rest of the year.”

The news comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. are on track to top 100,000 in the coming days — just after hospitalizations reached a new record high last week when they topped 90,000

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First coronavirus vaccinations in Missouri could begin next week – STLtoday.com

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DHEC reports highest percent positive of COVID-19 cases since September – WYFF4 Greenville

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N.J. reports 4,350 new COVID-19 cases, 56 deaths as hospitalizations increase for 4th straight day – NJ.com

New Jersey on Wednesday reported 4,350 new cases of the coronavirus and another 56 deaths as hospitalizations across the state continue to climb.

There were 3,287 people being treated throughout the state’s 71 hospitals as of Tuesday night, the most since May 20. And as of Wednesday morning, five hospitals in the state were on divert status citing patient volume. A sixth hospital was on divert for critical care, also citing patient volume.

And though the rate of transmission of the virus has ticked down slightly, the virus continues to spread in the state. New Jersey’s current statewide transmission is 1.08, down from 1.1 on Tuesday. The positivity rate for all of Sunday’s tests was 13.68%.

The 7-day average is 4,093, about the same as a week ago and up 151% from a month ago.

Gov. Phil Murphy stressed Wednesday that “the numbers in our hospitals tell us how this virus is moving.”

“That’s because there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the increase in the number of cases and the increase in the number of patients in our hospitals,” he said during his latest COVID-19 briefing in Trenton. “That much is not up for debate. It’s simple math. Math that we see play out every day in these slides we show with the numbers.”

Health officials have said an increase in COVID-19 patients has been part of the reason hospitals have gone on divert status, which means either the whole hospital or a unit can’t accept new patients temporarily, and those patients are sent to other medical centers.

The ones on divert as of Wednesday morning were Kennedy Memorial Hospitals UMC Washington Township in Gloucester County, Palisades Medical Center in Hudson County, St. Francis Medical Center in Mercer County (but only for critical care patients), University Medical Center Of Princeton At Plainsboro in Middlesex County, CentraState Medical Center in Monmouth County and Ocean Medical Center in Ocean County.

New Jersey has now reported 346,206 cases out of 6.1 million tests since the outbreak started March 4.

The state of 9 million residents has also reported 17,145 deaths from complications related to the virus in that time — 15,309 confirmed fatalities and 1,836 considered probable.

The daily numbers are expected to fluctuate this week due to a drop in testing and delays in results due to the Thanksgiving holiday that could produce higher and lower individual days for positive tests and deaths. On Monday, the state reported 3,199 positive tests and 15 deaths, and 4,661 tests 90 deaths on Tuesday.

The deaths reported Tuesday — which occurred between Nov. 12 and Monday, according to health officials — were the most confirmed in one day since June 13.

In addition, positive test totals during the second wave are difficult to compare to the first months of the outbreak when testing was scarce and the extent of the infections was likely undercounted. New Jersey is also not publicly reporting results from rapid tests, which have been deployed to hot spots.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There were 3,287 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Tuesday night (158 more than the previous day).

The state’s Department of Health revised its hospital data for Sunday night. On Monday, the state’s dashboard showed there were 2,961 people being hospitalized for Sunday night. By Tuesday, it showed there were 3,057 patients on that evening — marking the first time since May 20 the number of people hospitalized exceeded 3,000.

Hospitalizations have climbed steadily for three weeks before a slight dip around Thanksgiving. The totals are still far short of the more than 8,000 patients during the initial peak of the outbreak in mid-April.

Of those hospitalized as of Tuesday night, 599 were in critical or intensive care (two fewer than the previous night, including 354 on ventilators (five fewer).

There were 367 coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals Sunday, according to the dashboard.

SCHOOL CASES

Although hundreds of school districts have announced coronavirus cases and dozens of New Jersey schools have temporarily switched to all remote classes since the start of the school year, state health officials have said 66 schools have had confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.

There have now been 269 total cases of in-school transmission in those 66 schools since the start of the school year.

Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school, or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.

AGE BREAKDOWN

Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.6%), followed by those 50-64 (24.3%), 18-29 (18.8%), 65-79 (11.4%), 80 and older (6.5%), 5-17 (5.9%), and 0-4 (1.2%).

On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (47.78%), followed by those 65-79 (31.58%), 50-64 (15.89%), 30-49 (4.35%), 18-29 (0.38%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).

At least 7,291 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. That number has been rising again at a steeper rate in recent weeks.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of Wednesday, there have been more than 64 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.48 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.

The U.S. has reported the most cases with 13.73 million and the most deaths at more than 270,700.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com

Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com.

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CDC says 2-week coronavirus quarantines can be cut to 10 or 7 days – The Washington Post

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Woman seeks answers from jail over COVID-19 protocols – WANE

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Couple married for 47 years die of coronavirus within a minute of one another – KCCI Des Moines

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California county stops sending ambulances to all 911 calls as coronavirus surges – East Bay Times

San Bernardino County emergency dispatchers have stopped sending an ambulance to all 911 calls, a strategy that’s lightening their load as coronavirus-related calls surge.

Instead, people whose symptoms appear consistent with COVID-19 or the flu but who do not appear to need hospitalization are being visited by paramedics without an ambulance, said Steve Tracy, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The new policy started Friday afternoon, Nov. 27, he said.

“We’re only a couple days into it, but there’s already 52% reduction in transports, which is really helping the hospitals,” Tracy said Monday, Nov. 30.

Riverside County has a similar plan ready but has not implemented it, Bruce Barton, head of the county’s emergency management department, said Monday.

Before San Bernardino County’s new policy began, some ambulances were waiting four to six hours at a hospital before they could release a patient, Tracy said.

“That ambulance is tied up,” he said. “It can’t respond to other emergencies.”

There hasn’t been a noticeable change in how quickly ambulances are responding to calls, he said.

Paramedics continue to fully assess everyone who calls 911. They advise people to take steps, including visiting urgent care centers or contacting their doctor or nurse’s hotline, and leave information about how to do so, Tracy said. They also tell people to call 911 again if their condition worsens.

Tracy advises people to screen themselves before calling 911 to avoid straining ambulances.

“If your symptomology is indicating that you’re sick or you have flu-like symptoms, we want you to call your doctor first and let your doctor help you make a decision,” he said. “Of course, if you’re short of breath or have other symptoms of an emergency, then call 911.”

San Bernardino County coronavirus hospitalizations have broken records each of the past several days, with 856 people hospitalized with a confirmed case of COVID-19 as of Monday. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county has jumped by at least 50 in a single day five times since Nov. 20, with the largest increase before that being 36 people in July.

Inland hospital officials have said they are “bursting at the seams” and expecting numbers to worsen.

In Riverside County, Barton noted last week that ambulance and hospital use in Riverside County was below the worst recent flu year — December 2017 to January 2018 — but said COVID-19 hospitalizations are more labor-intensive and the pandemic has already lasted far longer than a flu season.

Riverside County set a record Monday for confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital beds: 600. That number is up 43% from a week earlier. The worst before that was 550 in July.