Alabama ends daily updates on COVID-19 dashboard –

Daily updates on the Alabama Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, which updated daily throughout most of the pandemic, are coming to an end.
The dashboard, which reports virus cases and deaths by county, positivity rate and more, will switch to updating once a week, a notice posted to the site announced Monday.
“As Alabama moves to the next chapter, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is shifting strategies from emergency response to one that minimizes daily disruptions to our lives,” the notice read. “You can read more about ADPH’s Pandemic Response Moving Forward. As part of this change, the COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard will only update on Thursdays by 10 a.m. moving forward.”
The announcement comes at an interesting time in Alabama’s struggle with the virus. The state is in the midst of a mini-surge, as the highly transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 variants have fueled a rise in cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations.
[Can’t see the chart? Click here.]
Alabama’s current positivity rate is 28.9%, meaning more than a quarter of all official tests performed over the last week have come back positive. And that’s just the tests we know about – many other tests are performed at home, and their results never get submitted to the official system.
The rate has hovered just under 30% for the past few weeks, higher than it ever got during the Delta surge, or the winter surge of 2020-2021.
Meanwhile, there were nearly 700 people hospitalized with the virus in the state as of Sunday, the most recent day for which data was available.
This isn’t the first time the state’s COVID dashboard has reduced its reporting days. Back before the Delta wave in July of 2021, the state had briefly shifted to reporting numbers three days a week. And at the end of the omicron surge, ADPH stopped reporting numbers on weekends. Since then, the state has reported numbers every weekday, barring holidays or the odd data delay.
“Alabama’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been unparalleled as ADPH worked to mitigate the effects of the largest outbreak of a single disease in more than a century,” the state’s official statement on its future response read. “The COVID-19 virus will be with us in the future. We encourage you to speak with a health provider you trust as you consider your own risk and the actions you take. Fortunately, while COVID-19 can still cause harm or change in unpredictable ways, we now have the tools and knowledge to manage and live with the virus.”
Do you have an idea for a data story about Alabama? Email Ramsey Archibald at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter @RamseyArchibald. Read more Alabama data stories here.
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