The ‘Old Normal’ Is Making Us Sick Again, UAB Doc Says; NY-Area Bans Alabama Travelers Without A Quarantine

 1508460341 
1593007452
Alabama Department of Public Health

Alabama's COVID-19 numbers on June 24, 2020.

The biggest challenge to stopping the spread of COVID-19 now is the public’s desire to return to the “old normal,” Dr. Molly Fleece, UAB assistant professor of infectious diseases, said Wednesday.

“Masks work,” Fleece said as UAB and other health officials brace for increased summer activities and the Fourth of July.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state rose Wednesday by 954, one of the state’s largest daily increases since the pandemic began, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Nationwide, the country reported 35,000 cases of COVID-19 today, the third-highest increase since the pandemic and the highest single-day increase since late April, according to the New York Times.

Alabama is one of the states showing the fastest increase in cases.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut today told travelers in nine states that they must quarantine themselves for 14 days if they visit, and Alabama is on that list. Previously, Kansas also required Alabama travelers, or anyone who has gone through Alabama, to quarantine themselves immediately on entering that state.

That area recently has beaten back the largest outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

In New York, travelers aren’t checked at the border. But travelers caught not following the order could face fines of up to $10,000 and be put into mandatory quarantine, the governor said today.

Changing Our Ways

Fleece urged people planning summer activities to adopt a new normal: wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding crowds and physically distancing.

She suggested those planning to travel or eat in restaurants consider doing so in off-hours when there are fewer people.

At the beach, keep social distances and choose less crowded beaches, she suggested.

“Masks work and their use will affect how many cases we have in the state,” she said.

The largest increase in COVID-19 cases has been among people aged 25-49 — the age group most likely to socialize. In Alabama, 41.5 percent of all cases since the pandemic now are among people in that age group, according to Department of Public Health Data.

More Coronavirus Coverage

Today, October 19, Is The Last Day To Register To Vote

A record number of people in Alabama have applied for and cast absentee ballots ahead of the November 3 election.

Federal Court Says ID, Witnesses Required For Absentee Voting

To vote absentee you must now provide a photo ID and have the signatures of two witnesses or a notary.

Jefferson County Clerk’s Office Redesigns To Handle Throngs Of Voters

It was a working weekend of those in the clerk’s office as they set the stage for what they hope is a more efficient processing of in-person absentee voters.

UAB Looking For A Variety Of Patients For COVID-19 Clinical Trials

UAB is offering both inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 trials ranging from vaccines to treatments that hope to weaken the effects of the virus.

Nonprofits Adapt To Harsh Financial Conditions After Birmingham Budget Cuts

The city of Birmingham's newly passed 2021 fiscal budget is nearly $50 million smaller than last year. Among the numerous budget cuts was funding to external nonprofits.

Birmingham Passes “Phantom” Budget, Unchanged From Woodfin’s Proposal

The Birmingham City Council approved Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed 2021 city budget this week. The $412 million budget includes nearly 250 indefinite furloughs with more than half coming from the city’s library system.

More Coronavirus Coverage