UPDATE: Shelby County surpasses 400 COVID-19 cases over weekend

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

While Shelby County surpassed 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, numbers still rose at a slower rate during the last week with 35 new cases in that span for an average of five per day.

It marked the lowest weekly total since the start of the virus, after the previous week marked 39 cases. The total number of cases now sits at 402 with 19 deaths, despite an increased number of tests in recent weeks.

With 6,532 tests administered since March 13 when the virus started, 6.15 percent of those tested have had a positive case, while 3 percent of the county’s population has now been tested and 0.18 percent of the population has had a positive case.

In the last week alone, there have been 982 tests looked at in the county by the Alabama Department of Public Health. With the 35 positive tests, that means 3.56 percent of those tested have had a positive case of the novel coronavirus.

Statewide, there are now 12,042 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 154,694 tests administered. In the last two weeks, 3,927 cases have been confirmed with 60,928 tests administered.

That marks 39.4 percent of the tests administered in more than two months.

So far, 7.8 percent of those tested have resulted in positive cases, while 3.2 percent of the state’s population has been tested and 0.25 percent of the state’s population has had a positive case.

The death toll across the state has risen to 488 with 80.9 percent of those being in people 65 or older. That despite 74.39 percent of cases in those between the ages of 5 and 64, meaning the virus is much more deadly to those above the age of 65.

Only 2.5 percent of those between 25 and 49 have died, while 16.6 percent have been between the ages of 50 and 64.

Mobile County still has the most number of confirmed cases with 1,720 to this point, while Jefferson County also has more than 1,00 cases with 1,350. Montgomery County is at 860, Marshall County is at 632 and Lee County is at 452. Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Franklin and Chambers counties also now have more than 300 cases with Tallapoosa and Tuscaloosa both at 365, Franklin at 342 and Chambers at 328.

So far, 1,644 healthcare workers have contracted the virus, while 1,185 long-term care residents and 770 long-term care employees have tested positive.

In addition to that, 504 patients have been in the ICU, while 296 have been put on ventilators, while 1,399 hospitalizations have occurred since the virus started in the state on March 13.

The first two months of the virus also saw confirmed cases in 15 residents and seven employees at the Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation facility. Since then, several have returned back home. In addition to that, nine residents and six employees at Select Rehab, Shelby Ridge in Alabaster also tested positive.

Since the outbreak started, positive cases were also 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