UPDATE: County surpasses 250 COVID-19 cases over weekend

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

While the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases were lower during the week of April 13, a month since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus began, they took more of a climb over the weekend.

Still not as drastic as the rise has been for much of the pandemic, numbers went from 245 confirmed cases on Friday to 269 on Sunday night, April 19.

Last week, the number of confirmed cases across Shelby County went from 213 on Sunday to 245 on Friday. But, from Monday through Friday, there were only 12 total new cases.

With the 24 new cases over the weekend, here have now been 56 confirmed cases in the last seven days, which is an average of 7.9 new cases per day.

That comes with 2,171 tests having been looked at by the Alabama Department of Public Health across the county, which is 470 new tests since last Thursday.

The ADPH has also confirmed six deaths in Shelby County with one additional reported death.

Statewide, there are now 4,923 confirmed cases of the virus, while 113 deaths have been confirmed by the ADPH, while another 51 have been reported and are awaiting confirmation.

Since the virus started on March 13, there have now been 641 hospitalizations statewide and 45,712 tests looked at by the department of public health.

Jefferson remains the highest at 682 confirmed cases, while Mobile and Lee counties also remained ahead of Shelby County. Mobile now has 671 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and continues to have drastic increases, while Lee is now up to 307.

In addition to that, Chambers and Montgomery counties both have more than 226. Chambers is at 247 confirmed cases, while Montgomery is at 226.

Madison (198), Tallapoosa (194), Tuscaloosa (146), Marshall (152) and Baldwin (114) counties all have more than 100 cases.

In addition to those numbers, 797 health care workers have had confirmed cases since the onset, while 260 patients have been in the intensive care unit and 157 on ventilators.

There have also been 303 long-term care patients and 261 long-term care employees with a confirmed case.

So far, 57.14 percent of confirmed cases have been female, 72.5 percent have been between the ages of 19 and 64, and 46.83 percent have been white, while 37.3 percent have been black.

In the confirmed deaths, 77 percent have been older than 64, 61.9 percent have been male, 46.9 percent have been black and 48.7 percent have been white.

It had also been confirmed that 15 residents and seven employees at the Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation facility had tested positive for the virus last week, while nine residents and six employees at Select Rehab, Shelby Ridge have also tested positive.

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