UPDATE: Weekend sees COVID-19 count near 80 in Shelby County

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

After a large increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases near the end of last week across both Shelby County and the state, numbers over the weekend didn’t see as drastic of a change.

Shelby County now has a total of 79 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of 7:40 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, in the latest numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health, which is just 10 more than it had on Friday afternoon.

That’s a shift from the end of last week where the county was close to 15 cases per day between Tuesday and Friday.

In that same time, the state’s numbers have jumped drastically in the last three days going from 627 cases on Friday afternoon up to 830 on Sunday night.

That comes after the state’s total rose by close to 400 cases between last Wednesday and Friday, making the weekend’s number not as drastic with a total of 4,755 tests now given.

The ADPH has also confirmed four deaths from COVID-19 across the state, including Chambers, Jackson, Lauderdale and Madison counties.

Shelby County is one of now 46 counties with multiple cases of COVID-19 and now has the third highest total of confirmed cases. Jefferson County still makes up the most from a single county with 246  confirmed cases, as their numbers continue to rise, while Madison County now has 80 confirmed cases and Lee County has 57.

A total of nine counties now have 20 or more confirmed cases. Other distinct numbers include 41 from Mobile County, 30 from Walker County, 27 from Chambers, 23 from Tuscaloosa County and 22 from Montgomery County.

In addition to that, Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Covington, Cullman, Dallas, Dekalb, Elmore, Etowah, Franklin, Greene, Houston, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Washington, Wilcox and Winston all have multiple cases.

Other counties listed as having one confirmed case of COVID-19 include Butler, Choctaw, Crenshaw, Escambia, Lamar, Lowndes, Macon, Monroe and Russell.

This latest update featured 55 of Alabama’s 67 counties with at least one confirmed case.

So far, positive cases have also been confirmed featuring four local schools including Thompson High School, Oak Mountain Intermediate or Elementary School, Helena High School and Calera High School. Both Helena and Calera students also possibly had contact with someone at the middle school.

It has also been confirmed that an employee at the Alabaster Chick-fil-A tested positive as did Montevallo pastor Ray Dunmyer of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.

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, It’s About Time Urgent Care in Helena and Columbiana Clinic in Columbiana. 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