Alabama is seeing a rise on COVID-19 cases.
You asked us if this is just because more testing is being done, so we looked into this claim.
Now, this rise doesn't mean that there is a new higher number every day. But over the past two weeks, and the last week especially, the state has seen an upward trend in cases.
Testing continues - the numbers vary by day - but more of those cases are positive than earlier in the pandemic.
Using the Alabama Dept/ of Public Health's Daily Case Characteristics charts, we looked at state-wide testing numbers for the last 12 days.
Thrive Alabama, which has provided COVID-19 testing to the public since March 20, says that in that time, their testing has yielded 3% positive test results, but positive results jumped to 14% last week.
That's fine, but what about my county?
Again, using information from the Alabama Dept. Public Health COVID-19 Data & Surveillance Dashboard, we can look at those positive percentages.
In Madison County, there are 577 cases total, with 230 (39.8%) of those in the last 14 days.
20,823 people have been tested in Madison County, with 5,424 (26%) of those tests in the last 14 days.
The percentage of positive tests is rising faster than the number of tests.
This is true for some surrounding counties as well.
Cases: 664 cases total, 366 (55%) in the last 14 days
Tests: 6,903 tests total, 2,941 (42%) in the last 14 days
Cases: 236 cases total, 129 (54%) in the last 14 days
Tests: 3,124 tests total, 809 (25%) in the last 14 days
Why is this happening?
- Lack of masks/face coverings
- Gathering in large groups without social distancing
They stressed the importance of wearing a mask or face covering when you're in places where you can't be assured of social distancing and remembering to wash your hands frequently and not touch your face.
The claim that higher case numbers are just because of more testing?