UPDATE: County sees 4 new cases of COVID-19 in last 24 hours

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

After a one-case increase yesterday, the county saw four more confirmed cases in the last 24 hours as of Wednesday night, April 22, bringing the Shelby County total to 278 according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

With 2,268 tests administered across the county, there have now been nine new cases this week, while there were 12 cases between last Monday and Friday, and 24 over the weekend. Since Monday, April 13, there have now been a total of 48 new cases with 910 tests administered in that time span.

So far 1.04 percent of the population in Shelby County has been tested according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s number of tests, while 12.25 percent of those tested have had a confirmed case.

Since last Monday, the average number of confirmed cases per day in the county is down to 5.3, while there has been an average of 101 cases per day in that same time span. There are currently six confirmed deaths in the county and with one additional reported.

Statewide, the total of COVID-19 cases is now up to 5,592 with 48,387 tests looked at by the ADPH. There have now been 731 hospitalizations across the state since the first case on March 13, which is an increase of 34 in the last 24 hours.

So far, 178 people have died from the virus statewide, while another 23 have been reported.

For the second day in a row, Mobile County has the most confirmed cases with 759 confirmed cases compared to 744 in Jefferson County. In the last two weeks, Mobile’s number of cases has climbed by close to 600. Lee County has the third highest total with 331.

In addition to that, Chambers, Montgomery, Tallapoosa, Marshall and Madison counties all have more than 200. Chambers is at 270 confirmed cases, while Montgomery is at 253, Tallapoosa is at 242, Marshall is at 241 and Madison is at 205.

Tuscaloosa (165), Baldwin (132) and Etowah (116) counties all have more than 100 cases.

So far, 906 health care workers have had confirmed cases since the onset, while 288 patients have been in the intensive care unit and 170 on ventilators.

There have also been 386 long-term care residents and 301 long-term care employees with a confirmed case.

A total of 57.24 percent of confirmed cases have been female, 72.21 percent have been between the ages of 19 and 64, and 46.84 percent have been white, while 37.58 percent have been black.

In the confirmed deaths, 77.1 percent have been older than 64, 62 percent have been male, 46.9 percent have been black and 49.7 percent have been white.

Graphic by Jamie Dawkins

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 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.

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