MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In less than two days, Alabama’s confirmed coronavirus cases have nearly doubled.
As of 4:34 p.m. Thursday, there were 531 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama. A total of 4,082 people have been tested, and there is one confirmed death related to the coronavirus.
Montgomery County has 17 confirmed cases, Elmore County has 10 confirmed cases and Autauga County has six confirmed cases. The latest numbers for each county are available online from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Gov. Kay Ivey held a joint news conference with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey Thursday afternoon. Ivey announced Alabama public school students won’t return to classrooms this school year. She instructed each of the state’s public K-12 schools to implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using “alternate methods of instruction."
Harris said ADPH has a group that is continuing to prepare for a surge in hospital admissions. He also addressed how the state counts coronavirus related deaths, saying it takes some time to review a patient’s medical records and speak with the patient’s healthcare providers in order to determine the exact cause of death.
Harris also reminded people who think they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms to speak with their healthcare provider first before trying to get tested. If they do not have a provider, ADPH will help them connect with one.
It has been almost two weeks since the state announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
ADPH confirmed the state’s first death due to the coronavirus Wednesday evening. The patient was a resident of Jackson County.
Several hospitals in central Alabama released numbers Wednesday.
Baptist Health’s facilities in Montgomery and Prattville had tested 531 people, but 337 of those tests were still pending. A total of 126 tests were negative. Thirty-eight people had been admitted and were awaiting results.
Jackson Hospital in Montgomery said five people had been admitted and were awaiting test results.
East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika said it had nine patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19. One of them was from a nursing home. There were 25 patients hospitalized with suspected cases of coronavirus. One patient who was previously hospitalized with COVID-19 has been discharged. 22 percent of all tests submitted in alabama have come from EAMC. That’s more than 1 out of 5 coming from one place.
EAMC says they have noticed a lot of people were last in a public setting at their churches prior to getting sick, even as recent as this past Sunday. They’re asking churches find alternate ways of worship to keep people from coming into contact with each other.
RESOURCES FOR ASSISTANCE:
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State officials opened a toll-free number for people who develop symptoms and need to be tested. For more on how to get tested, you can call 1-888-264-2256. This is not a medical helpline.