Alabama Coronavirus Cases Fall After State Issues Mask Mandate

Novel coronavirus cases in Alabama are approaching nearly 96,600. But the state's average daily case count has been on a downward trend from late July, just days after a statewide mask mandate was issued on July 15.

After peaking on July 24, the state's three-day moving average of new cases mostly decreased to August 5 according to the latest report Friday from Johns Hopkins University.

The state recorded a couple of large dips during the latest 14-day period, including on July 27, when the three-day average daily case count was at 1,412, a drop from 2,106 reported on July 24.

The three-average of daily new cases also saw a significant decline on August 5, when it hit 1,070, falling from the 1,984 reported on August 1.

When asked whether Alabama's mask mandate was working, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris told Alabama's ABC 33/40: "I certainly hope so. I think it's really difficult to prove that there's a one-to-one correlation. We are cautiously encouraged."

Harris also noted new cases may be leveling off from the surge reported following the large gatherings seen over the Fourth of July weekend. He also confirmed fewer tests are being done in the state. "That may play a role," he told ABC 33/40.

The average percentage of positive tests in Alabama reported over the past week was 18.1 percent, a slight drop from the 19.1 percent average reported two weeks ago.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the percentage of Americans who claim to wear a mask in public spaces.

mask wearing statista
Statista

When a local mask mandate went into effect in Alabama's Mobile County on July 3, the positivity rate was reported to be 21.5 percent in the county, according to Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bert Eichold.

"Since we put the mask ordinance in effect, we've decreased now by about 25 percent, which is down to about 15-16 percent of the PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests are coming back positive, which is really good. We've had a decrease [in the] number of tests, but the percentage-wise is a positive indicator that we're decreasing community transmission," Eichold told ABC 33/40.

The number of daily tests conducted across Alabama remained unchanged this week at 1.7 tests per 1,000 people.

John Lewis funeral Alabama July 2020
A woman wearing a mask at a funeral procession for the late U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis on July 26, 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama. Getty Images

More than 4.8 million people in the U.S. have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, while over 19.1 million cases have been reported worldwide. Over 11.5 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 715,600 have died, as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphics below, provided by Statista, illustrate the spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

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