UPDATE: Confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise, state nears 4,000

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

A month since the outbreak began on Friday, March 13, the number COVID-19 cases across the state increased by less than 300 with the total number of confirmed cases going from 3,583 to 3,803.

Now at 230 cases, Shelby County has the fourth most cases by county in the state after 17 more cases in the last 24 hours.

Jefferson remains the highest at 617 confirmed cases, while Mobile and Lee counties also remained ahead of Shelby County. Mobile now has 491 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and continues to have drastic increases, while Lee is now up to 250.

In addition to that, Chambers is at 212 confirmed cases, while Madison (188), Montgomery (149),Tuscaloosa (120), Tallapoosa (107) and Marshall (103) counties all have more than 100 cases.

There still remains only five confirmed deaths with no more reported in Shelby County, which has remained the case for the last week.

Statewide there was only one additional confirmed case of the virus in the last 24 hours with the total now at 62, while there is another 41 the Alabama Department of Public Health are trying to confirm.

There have been 28,486 tests administered across the state, while Shelby County has administered 1,358 of those.

In addition to those numbers, 551 health care workers have had confirmed cases since the onset, while 189 patients have been in the intensive care unit and 119 on ventilators. There have also been 154 long-term care employees and 153 long-term care residents with a confirmed case.

So far, 56.69 percent of confirmed cases have been female, 73.44 percent have been between the ages of 19 and 64, and 46.54 percent have been white, while 36.5 have been black.

In the confirmed deaths, 69.4 percent have been older than 64, 62.9 percent have been male, 53.2 percent have been black and 40.3 percent have been white.

It was also confirmed last week that 15 residents and seven employees at the Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation facility had tested positive for the virus.

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 was 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 and an employee at Montevallo City Hall.

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

Graphic by Jamie Dawkins

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