UPDATE: County surpasses 300 COVID-19 cases, now 9 deaths

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Between Friday, April 24 and Sunday April 26, there were 28 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the Alabama Department of Pubic Health in Shelby County, sending the total number of cases past the 300 mark.

With 311 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus now in the county, the positive was the number of tests looked at by the ADPH. Normally hovering around 100 or less per day, there were 912 new tests looked at by the health department over the weekend, bringing the total number of tests from 2,369 last Thursday to 3,281 as of Sunday night.

That means 3.07 percent of those in that batch of tests tested positive for COVID-19. That also means 1.5 percent of the population in Shelby County has been tested, which is a slight increase from 1.08 percent last Thursday.

There have also been nine deaths in the county according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, who has recently removed its reported deaths category.

Statewide, the total number of COVID-19 cases is now up to 6,418 with 73,626 tests looked at by the ADPH. That means 1.5 percent of the state’s population has been tested, while 8.7 of those tested have tested positive, which is down from the 11.07 percent number as of last Thursday.

There have now been 845 hospitalizations across the state since the first case on March 13, which is an increase of 77 in the last three days. So far, 219 people have died from the virus statewide.

Mobile County has the most confirmed cases with 917 confirmed cases compared to 839 in Jefferson County. Lee County has the third highest total with 365, while Marshall County is now at 305.

In addition to that, Montgomery, Chambers, Tallapoosa and Madison counties all have more than 200. Montgomery is at 289 confirmed cases, while Chambers is at 285, Tallapoosa is at 274 and Madison is at 211.

Tuscaloosa (192), Baldwin (159) and Etowah (125) counties all have more than 100 cases.

So far, 908 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 57.54 percent of confirmed cases have been female, 71.46 percent have been between the ages of 19 and 64, and 45.76 percent have been white, while 37.46 percent have been black.

In the confirmed deaths, 78.9 percent have been older than 64, 58.7 percent have been male, 45.1 percent have been black and 51.6 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 two weeks ago, 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.

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