UPDATE: Shelby County surpasses 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer and ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Numbers continue to rise as more tests come back positive for COVID-19, and on the afternoon of Thursday, March 26, Shelby County’s total of confirmed cases passed 50, while the state surpassed 500.

Shelby County now has a total of 52 cases, which is 10 more than it had the afternoon before in the latest numbers release from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state’s numbers have jumped drastically in the last 30 hours going from 283 cases on Wednesday morning up to 501 on Thursday afternoon. It marks the largest jump for the state since the outbreak began on Friday, March 13, with the first confirmed case.

The state has also seen its first death from the novel coronavirus with the ADPH and Jackson County Commission confirming the death of a Jackson County employee due to COVID-19.

Shelby County is one of now 33 counties with multiple cases of COVID-19 and still has the second highest total of confirmed cases. Jefferson County makes up the bulk of the count with 148 confirmed cases, as their numbers continue to rise, while Lee County is now at 47 confirmed cases and Madison has 43.

In addition to that, Tuscaloosa County has 19 confirmed cases, Walker and Mobile counties both have 18 and Montgomery County has 17.

Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Cullman, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Franklin, Houston, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pike, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa and Washington all have multiple cases.

Other counties listed as having one confirmed case of COVID-19 include Butler, Cherokee, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Crenshaw, Dekalb, Lamar, Lowndes, Marengo, Pickens, Russell and Wilcox.

This latest update featured 48 of Alabama’s 67 counties with at least one confirmed case.

It also comes the week after positive tests came out of three Shelby County schools featuring students that have come in contact with people at Oak Mountain Intermediate and Elementary schools, Helena High and Middle schools and Calera High and Middle schools.

Testing for COVID-19 is now being done by appointment at UAB as well as Total Care 280 in the North Shelby area off U.S. 280 and It’s About Time Urgent Care in Helena. You are urged to get tested only if you present symptoms of a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have been in contact with somebody who has the virus.

UAB is encouraging you to call 205-975-1881 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. to describe your symptoms. They will then determine whether you present what could be COVID-19 symptoms, in which case they’ll set an appointment for you to get tested the next day.

If you think you have been exposed or have symptoms, please isolate and call your doctor or nearest medical facility for guidance or call the Alabama Department of Public Health hotline at 1-888-264-2256.

For more information about COVID-19, visit Alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.

To view an updated dashboard of confirmed cases and see testing sites, visit Alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7