By Wesley Walter, Managing editor
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data suggests that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Alabama and nationwide.
Since the end of the public health emergency on May 1, data surrounding COVID-19 cases has been reported by government sources less frequently. However, the CDC still collects data on the number of daily hospital admissions for COVID-19 which are some of the best indicators of the spread of the disease.
According to CDC data, daily COVID-19 hospital admissions began to rise nationwide in July.
Daily average hospitalization rates nationwide reached their lowest point in 2023 on July 5 at 1,974 cases. National rates have been on the rise since then, peaking on Sept. 11 at 4,746 cases.
In Alabama as of Sept. 27, daily hospitalization averages are at 53 people, per day after reaching a yearly low on July 5 of 26 people. This marks the first time that daily hospitalization averages have been on an upward trend in the state since Jan. 8, where they peaked at 588 cases.
Since the peak of the pandemic, data and regulations surrounding COVID-19 at the University of Montevallo have diminished in ways similar to those on a nation- and state-wide scale.
Masking has not been required in class since Feb. 25, 2022, and, since then, reporting positive test results for COVID-19 have not been mandatory. The university’s online reporting form has also been taken down.
According to Student Health Services, UM does not have a set policy regarding COVID-19 infections.
With fewer regulations regarding what to do if infected with COVID-19, guidelines from the CDC have become the standard response protocol.
Student Health Services recommends that, “The CDC guidelines can be applied for anyone who tests positive. These guidelines include staying out of class/group activities for 5 days after the onset of symptoms, then return with a mask for the 2nd 5 days if fever-free and symptoms improving. There are no longer any CDC quarantine protocols for exposure to COVID. Anyone exposed has the option to wear a mask and test if they develop symptoms.”
Health Services announced that their flu vaccine clinic held on Sept. 28 would have the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine if they become available.
COVID-19 vaccines were not available at the clinic due to limited supply. However, they are more likely to be available at larger pharmacies or future UM vaccination clinics if they occur.
Wesley Walter is managing editor for The Alabamian. He is a junior English major and mass communications minor. Wesley boasts a 750 credit score, boyish good looks and soulful eyes that contain a deep indescribable sadness. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, visiting gas stations and thinking about getting into surfing.