UPDATE: Shelby County nears 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

As the state total of confirmed COVID-19 cases nears 3,000, Shelby County is nearing the 200 mark as of Thursday night, April 9.

A day after it was confirmed that at least 15 patients and seven employees at the Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation facility had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the county’s confirmed number of cases jumped to 183, while the number of confirmed deaths remained at five with 1,095 tests administered according to the latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Percentage wise, that’s 16.7 percent of tests coming back positive and it marks less than 1 percent of Shelby County’s population testing positive for the virus.

Statewide, the numbers are nearing 3,000, as the total of confirmed cases reached 2,838 with 20,605 tests administered. So far, the ADPH has confirmed 48 deaths, while another 30 have been reported. There have also now been 333 hospitalizations since the first case reported on March 13.

Shelby County now has the fourth highest total and is one of six counties that now have more than 100 confirmed cases with Jefferson still leading the way at 523. Mobile County has the second most after a drastic increase with 329 cases, while Lee County has the third most at 206. In addition to that Madison County has 179, while Chambers has 161.

The ADPH is also reporting that 73.47 percent of those with confirmed cases are between the ages of 19 and 64, while 23.89 percent are older than 64. In addition to that, 56.87 percent are females, while 47.82 percent are white and 36.72 percent black.

There are currently 156 COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, while 104 are on ventilators.

The number of healthcare workers with confirmed cases has also risen to 406, while 90 long-term care employees have it and 66 long-term care residents.

Since the outbreak started, positive cases have 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.

The Alabaster Chick-fil-A has since reopened for takeout and drive-thru services after a thorough cleaning.

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