Coronavirus Cases In Ages 5-24 Double Within A Month; Alabama Hits New Record Daily High

Alabama Department of Public Health

In the last month, Alabama saw the number of coronavirus cases double among 5 to 24-year-olds, according to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state also recorded a new daily high of 1,129 cases between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday.

Experts warn that gatherings over the July 4th weekend could cause another surge in coronavirus cases if people don’t wear masks and use social distancing measures.

At a press conference Thursday, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, UAB’s director of infectious diseases, said everyone should wear a mask, including younger people who tend to have milder cases and may not even realize they are sick.

“They’re not as likely to stay home,” Marrazzo said. “They may feel relatively okay like they can go out and do their usual thing. That puts them at great risk for serving as an intense focus of transmission in the community.”

Marrazzo said the number of new cases among younger people has increased since Memorial Day weekend. But she said that wasn’t unexpected after statewide restrictions were relaxed at the end of May. It can take up to five weeks to see accurate data of coronavirus transmission.

Marrazzo said Alabama can still change the upward trajectory of new coronavirus cases.

“If you are going to be close to someone, within six feet, just wear a mask. You can do it just for that brief encounter and then you can take it off,” Marrazzo said.

U.S. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama said it will take more than political leadership to normalize wearing masks.

“It’s so important that businesses, churches, everyone step up on this mask-wearing,” Jones said. “Let’s get everybody used to this and it not be such a political issue … such a social stigma issue. It’s just something that we do like buckling the seat belts when we get in a car.”

Both warn that if the number of new cases doesn’t decline, Alabama could see other measures like an emergency statewide mask order or another economic shutdown.

“Shutting down like we did in March and April was like doing a sprint,” Marrazzo said. “We are now in a marathon. This is not going to go away anytime soon, so we’ve got to figure out ways to work through this that do not cripple us – socially, economically, psychologically and emotionally.”

More Coronavirus Coverage

Birmingham City Council Seeks Halt To Closing Of Recreation Centers

A proposal to close 12 of Birmingham's recreation centers is facing pushback by city council members.

Woodfin’s Constantly Changing Budget Leaves Library Board, City Council to Wonder: “What the Heck Is Going On?”

A proposed budget for the city of Birmingham wants to cut funding to the Birmingham Public Library for the third time.

Poets Reflect On Six Months Of Pandemic

Several Alabama poets share their experiences and works inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alabama’s Nursing Shortage Worsens During Pandemic

In the fight against COVID-19, Alabama hospitals say one of their biggest concerns is a shortage of nurses. Many are turning to travel nurse companies to meet demand.

Number Of COVID-19 Patients In Alabama Hospitals Falls To Less Than Half Its Peak

The number of people hospitalized in Alabama for COVID-19 has dropped to less than half the peak figure of more than a month ago.

Remembering An Alabamian Driven To Figure Out How Things Worked

Fred Bischoff worked hard and played hard. The devoted family man a died in June from COVID-19.

More Coronavirus Coverage