UPDATE: County has no new cases of COVID-19 in last 24 hours

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

For the first time since the first two cases were confirmed in Shelby County on Sunday, March 15, there were no new cases of COVID-19 in Alabama in the last 24 hours as the count remained at 319 confirmed cases of the virus on Wednesday, April 29.

This comes as testing results have come in more frequently as well with 3,719 tests now administered, which totaled 388 more tests in the last 24 hours.

Since then, overnight, there was one additional confirmed case to bring the county’s total to 320 early on the morning of Thursday, April 30.

The state now has 6,925 confirmed cases, but close to 100,000 have now been tested. In the last 24 hours, 9,464 more tests have been looked out by the Alabama Department of Public health, bringing the total number of tests to 85,367.

The county death total has risen to 11, while the statewide death total is now at 255. Of those who have died from the novel coronavirus, 77.3 percent have been older than the age of 64.

So far, 8.08 percent of those tested statewide have gotten back positive results, while 8.57 percent of those tested in Shelby County come back with positive results. The county has seen 1.71 of the population tested, while the state has had 1.74 of its population tested.

There have now been 951 hospitalizations across the state since the first case on March 13, which is an increase of 13 in the last 24.

Mobile County has the most confirmed cases and became the first to surpass 1,000 with 1,033 confirmed cases compared to 880 in Jefferson County. Lee County has the third highest total with 386, while Marshall and Montgomery counties are both at 316.

In addition to that, Chambers, Tallapoosa, Madison and Tuscaloosa counties all have more than 200. Chambers is at 293, Tallapoosa is at 280, Madison is at 224 and Tuscaloosa is at 202.

Baldwin (173) and Etowah (139) counties all have more than 100 cases.

So far, 908 health care workers have had confirmed cases since the onset, while 335 patients have been in the intensive care unit and 195 on ventilators.

There have also been 539 long-term care residents and 370 long-term care employees with a confirmed case.

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