Preliminary numbers show that the overwhelmingly vaccine-averse state of Alabama “literally shrunk” during the first year of the pandemic.

During a recent press briefing, per regional Birmingham outlet WBRC, Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris first made special mention of the recently reported nationwide stats showing that 1 in 500 Americans have died from COVID-19. Lamenting that figure as “staggering,” Harris then broke down recent Alabama-focused numbers, including a comparison between the total number of deaths and births in 2020.

“Here in Alabama, we continue to see deaths at a really high rate, unfortunately,” he said Friday. “We released some numbers earlier this week that I wanted to cover with you again today. This past year, 2020, is going to be the first year that we know of in the history of our state where we actually had more deaths than births. Our state literally shrunk in 2020, based on the numbers that we have managed to put together, and actually by quite a bit.”

Harris said the “preliminary number” for deaths in the state in 2020 was 64,714. Meanwhile, the state recorded 57,641 births. Those numbers will continue to be updated, Harris said, but he stressed the importance of what the comparison suggested about the historically abysmal situation facing Alabama at the moment.