UPDATE: County has 9 new COVID-19 cases in last 2 days, now 16 deaths

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

As we near the two month mark of the COVID-19 battle in Alabama and Shelby County, there have been nine new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the county in the last two days, while the death toll has risen by three more to 16.

The total number of confirmed cases in the county now sits at 339 after reaching 329 on Monday night.

Over the first month of the virus, the county saw an increase of 230 confirmed cases, but over the second month, despite still being a few days until that mark on May 13, the numbers seem less drastic with 109 new cases.

Since Monday, April 27, a week-and-a-half ago, there have been 21 new cases in Shelby County, which marks the lowest stretch since the onset with an average of 2.3 new cases per day.

Testing numbers have also risen in that time span. Now at 4,659 tests administered according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there were 317 new tests in the last 48 hours and more than 1,000 in the last week-and-a-half.

Statewide there have now been 8,691 confirmed cases of the virus, while 343 have died from the virus with 112,068 people tested. That marks 579 new cases in the last 48 hours across the state, while the death toll has risen by 45.

So far, of the deaths in the state, 77.8 percent have been older than 65, while 19 percent have been between the ages of 50 and 64 and 3.2 percent have been between the ages of 25 and 49.

There have also been 1,163 hospitalizations since the onset of the virus back on March 13, which is an increase of 83 in the last 48 hours.

Mobile County still has the most number of confirmed cases with 1,311 to this point, while Jefferson County also has more than 1,000 cases with 1,048. Montgomery County is at 477, Marshall County is at 470 and Lee County is at 410. Chambers and Tallapoosa counties also now have more than 300 cases with Chambers at 306 and Tallapoosa at 304.

In addition to that, Tuscaloosa and Madison both have more than 200 confirmed cases. Tuscaloosa is currently at 248 cases of the virus, while Madison has 238.

So far, 1,257 healthcare workers have contracted the virus, while 574 long-term care employees and 888 long-term care residents have tested positive.

In addition to that, 444 patients have been in the ICU, while 265 have been put on ventilators since the virus started in the state on March 13.

New numbers show that 38.96 percent of confirmed cases are between the ages of 25 and 49, while 25.76 are between 50 and 64 and 25.1 are 65 or older. In addition to that, 57.91 percent of confirmed cases are female, 44.61 percent are white and 38.56 percent are black.

In confirmed deaths, 53.9 percent have been male, while 49.6 percent have been white and 45.2 percent black.

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. Since then, several have returned back home. In addition to that, 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