BREAKING: First two deaths confirmed from COVID-19 in Shelby County

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

As Shelby County’s confirmed number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, along with the state, sad news came on the morning of Tuesday, March 31, as the first two deaths in the county have now been confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The latest numbers from the ADPH came at 8 a.m. and featured 949 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus statewide, while the two deaths in the county played a part in the total number of deaths rising from six the previous night to 13.

With 6,531 tests administered statewide, Shelby County has now seen 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as the county nears triple digits. Right now, Jefferson County has 257 confirmed cases and is the only county in triple digits, while Madison is at 96.

The ADPH has also confirmed deaths in eight other counties, including Chambers, Lauderdale, Lee, Jackson, Madison Mobile, Montgomery and Tallapoosa. Chambers has the most deaths thus far with three, while Lee has two.

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