UPDATE: State surpasses 5,000 COVID-19 cases, county sees slight increase

Published 7:13 pm Monday, April 20, 2020

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

In the last 24 hours, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Shelby County increased by four cases to 273, marking another day of 10 cases or less for the county, while the state surpassed 5,000.

For the county, it continues a trend from last week where there were just 12 total cases between Monday night and Friday morning. While there has been an increase of 27 since last Friday, that’s an average of nine cases per day, while the average per day since last Monday stands at 5.6.

In that timespan, there have been 813 tests administered, meaning that 4.7 percent of those tested from Shelby County have returned positive results.

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.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has also confirmed six deaths in the county with none others reported after a seventh was previously reported for the last few days.

Statewide, there are now 5,078 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 688 confirmed cases, while Mobile and Lee counties also remained ahead of Shelby County. Mobile now has 680 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and continues to have drastic increases, while Lee is now up to 311.

In addition to that, Chambers, Montgomery and Madison counties both have more than 200. Chambers is at 257 confirmed cases, while Montgomery is at 231 and Madison at 202.

Tallapoosa (193), Marshall (167), Tuscaloosa (153) and Baldwin (117) 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, 57.42 percent of confirmed cases have been female, 72.5 percent have been between the ages of 19 and 64, and 47.4 percent have been white, while 37.8 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 in Alabaster 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