UPDATE: County nears 100 COVID-19 cases, state surpasses 1,100

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

The day after the first two deaths were confirmed from COVID-19 in Shelby County, the confirmed number of cases rose by just three from 86 to 89.

But in addition to the two confirmed deaths, Shelby County coroner Lina Evans said two others have died from the virus with pre-existing conditions, while numbers are behind due to testing concerns.

The latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health came at 6:30 p.m. and featured 1,105 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus statewide, while 17 deaths had been confirmed and another 28 reported.

That was close to an increase of 200 cases from Monday evening until Wednesday night with 7,774 tests administered.

The 17 confirmed deaths have come from 11 different counties, including Chambers, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lee, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Shelby, Tallapoosa and Washington. Chambers has had the most confirmed deaths with four, while Shelby, Mobile and Lee all have two confirmed by the ADPH so far.

Shelby County is one of now 52 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 302 confirmed cases, as their numbers continue to rise, while Madison County now has 107 confirmed cases and Lee County has 83.

A total of eight counties now have 20 or more confirmed cases. Other distinct numbers include 57 from Mobile County, 45 from Chambers County, 35 from Montgomery County, 32 from Walker County and 30 from Tuscaloosa County.

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

Other counties listed as having one confirmed case of COVID-19 include Butler, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Fayette, Hale, Lamar, Lowndes and Russell.

This latest update featured 62 of Alabama’s 67 counties with at least one confirmed case.

So far, positive cases have also been confirmed featuring four local schools including two at Thompson High School, one at either Oak Mountain Intermediate or Elementary School, one at Helena High School and one at 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