Coffee County EMA director James Brown continuously provides updates for the community concerning the COVID-19 virus. Last Friday, Oct. 1, he reported things were looking a bit better regarding cases and hospitalizations to start the new month.

“Both our cases and hospitalizations continue a steep downward trend from our update on Sept. 20th,” Brown said. “However, our test positivity rate has only dropped slightly leaving Coffee county rated as a ‘high’ community transmission rate on the ADPH surveillance dashboard.”

As of last Friday, Brown said there had been a dramatic decrease in hospitalizations over the last month in Alabama, going from 2,890 in the hospital due to COVID on Sept. 1, 2021 to 1,321 hospitalized on Sept. 30, 2021.

“This is a 54 percent reduction in hospitalizations,” Brown said.

Regarding deaths, however, he said it can take several weeks to process and ensure cause of death, but as the hospitalizations had come down over the month, the death rate [associated with the virus] continued to rise. 

“On Sept. 1st we showed 145 total deaths in the county due to COVID-19, and on Sept. 30th we showed 182 deaths in the county,” Brown said. “That is an increase of 37 in a month. Since the start of this current wave at the beginning of July, we have added 54 total deaths so far.”

Cases do seem to be dropping, however.

Brown said Alabama is averaging about 1,000 new cases per day, according to the ADPH NAAT test numbers. He said that is a drop of more than 800 per day from the Sept. 20th report from his office.

As for Coffee County, Brown said the ADPH Data and Surveillance dashboard was showing 66 positive NAAT tests in a seven-day period [or a little over nine per day] compared to 101 cases in a seven-day period on Sept. 20th.

“We continue to concentrate our planning based on positivity rate, which gives us an idea of community transmission,” Brown said. “We have seen a slight decline in this rate as well. Our current positivity rate for Coffee County  is 16.4 percent – that is down from 17.2 percent at last report.”

He said, however, officials would like to see the positivity rate number below 5 percent. 

As of the Oct. 1st report, Brown said 52.7 percent of the eligible population in Alabama had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine while 42.6 percent had been fully vaccinated.

“Our vaccination rates in Coffee County seem to have also gone up again,” he said. “We have 39.2 percent completing at least on dose and 32.2 percent completing their series. Last report, these numbers were 38.23 percent and 30.80 percent respectively.”

Moving forward, he said the message remains the same…social distance, wear masks, sanitize, and get vaccinated.

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