BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
On Friday, Aug. 13, Governor Kay Ivey issued an emergency public health proclamation pertaining to COVID-19.
Due to the rise in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, Ivey declared a state health emergency exists. This comes barely one month later after Ivey issued a proclamation terminating the public health emergency on July 6.
Her first emergency proclamation was issued on March 13, 2020 with supplemental proclamations in April, May, June, July, August, September, November and December of 2020. More followed in January, March, April and May of 2021.
The proclamation states the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations is approaching the record number of 3,084 recorded on Jan. 11, 2021.
It also states, “as of August, 12, 2021, 95 percent of beds in intensive care units in Alabama hospitals were occupied, resulting in the lowest ICU-bed availability since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic;”
State Health Officer Scott Harris warned on Aug. 12 that current hospitalizations in Alabama could surpass the record set in January 2021 by the next week.
Measures being adopted by Alabama include: cutting red tape for health care workers, emergency care in hospitals and practice by out-of-state healthcare practitioners; expanding capacity of healthcare facilities; alternative standards of care; public meetings; transportation of emergency, services and supplies; waiver of certain federal hour-of-service requirements; procurement of emergency-related supplies; and reimbursement for certain state employees.
As of Friday, Aug. 13 there were 11,765 deaths reported in Alabama from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
There have been 627,905 positive cases reported. Vaccine doses administered number 3,635,601. In total, Alabama received 5,333,275 doses.
Vaccine doses administered for Butler County total 12,460. There have been 2,565 positive cases reported with 72 deaths as of Aug. 13. (data from https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/state/alabama/county/butler-county and https://arcg.is/0brSGj)