HUNTSVILLE, Ala – Monday the United States hit a once-unimaginable COVID-19 milestone. More than half a million people across the US have died from the coronavirus.
Alabama has a population of 4.9 million people and has reported 9,660 COVID-19 deaths. When comparing Alabama to states with similar populations, it appears more people in Alabama are dying from COVID-19.
Here is a sampling of other states with populations similar to the size of Alabama.
- Missouri has a population of 6.1 million. It has 7,885 COVID-19 related deaths.
- Louisiana has a population of 4.6 million people. It has reported 9,477 deaths related to COVID-19
- Colorado with a population of 5.7 million is reporting 5,893 deaths.
- South Carolina with a population of 5.1 million is reporting 8,332 COVID-19 related deaths.
A spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Health says Alabama is a less healthy state with more co-morbidities.
The state has been tracking the number of people who die from COVID-19 every day. The highest daily totals were recorded at the beginning of 2021.
“We set a record for deaths in January we, more than half of all of Alabama’s deaths have occurred since Thanksgiving somewhere around 60 percent I think,” said Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer.
The days with the highest death totals recorded 82 deaths in a single day. Those totals were reported on January 4th and 14th.
ADPH reports that 79 percent of those who have died from the coronavirus are 65 years old or older.
He also points out demographics of those who have died in Alabama.
“We know that African Americans in Alabama have disproportionately borne the burden of this disease, particularly death, and we want to make sure we’re fairly reaching them with the vaccine program,” said Harris.
The mortality rate numbers back up Dr. Harris’ claim 59.2 percent of people who died were white, while that demographic makes up 65 percent of the state’s population.28 percent of those who died were black, while that demographic makes up 26 percent of the state’s population.
It’s an alarming trend that tracks the poor health of many in Alabama. According to data from ADPH, 33 percent of people who died from the coronavirus had cardiovascular disease, 29 percent had multiple underlying conditions, and only 2 percent had no underlying conditions.
Death rates have declined in recent weeks.
“Now that we’re through the holiday season perhaps there aren’t as many people having the type of gatherings that we see in November and December,” said Harris.
The number of people currently hospitalized is also showing a downward trend. Last month the number of hospitalized patients throughout the entire Huntsville Hospital Health System reached an all-time high of more than 500 people. Tuesday there are 121 COVID-19 inpatients system wide.