Alabama reaches 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris gives update Friday on coronavirus

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama crossed the 3,000 mark for confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday afternoon, according to the latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The state’s first confirmed case came on March 13. It took 18 days for ADPH to confirm 1,000 cases. From there, it took five days to confirm 2,000 and another five days to confirm 3,000.

During that four-week span, a total of nearly 21,000 tests have been conducted.

The confirmed death count stands at 58, according to ADPH data. Twenty-two other deaths are under investigation, and about 370 have been hospitalized statewide.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday that there are concerns about families gathering over the weekend for Easter, even as there’s a stay-at-home order in place.

“This is the weekend to stay home,” he said. “We know we’re about 10 or maybe 12 days away from a potential surge that would overwhelm the healthcare capacity of our hospitals.”

“A lot of those people who are gonna make up that number, of that surge, are people that are gonna get infected this weekend,” Harris warned.

Asked about testing and recovery rates, the doctor said the state is not testing enough people, saying supplies are limited and the state is competing with every other state for the supplies.

Harris said “we don’t have really good numbers in Alabama” and said it hasn’t been long enough to make an assessment on the state’s recovery rate. But, he added state and nationwide statistics, though not completely accurate, indicate those who test positive for the respiratory illness have a recovery rate of 97 percent or higher. One to two percent appear to be dying from the illness.

These are the latest deaths by county:

  • Autauga -1
  • Chambers -8
  • Etowah -5
  • Jackson -2
  • Jefferson -8
  • Lauderdale -1
  • Lee -5
  • Macon -1
  • Madison -3
  • Marengo- 1
  • Marshall -1
  • Marengo -1
  • Marion -2
  • Mobile -9
  • Montgomery -1
  • Randolph -1
  • Shelby -5
  • Tallapoosa -2
  • Washington -1

According to ADPH, reported deaths represent the number of individuals who have a positive lab result and are now deceased. To count a person who died from COVID-19 disease, the medical record of the deceased person has to be reviewed by a physician and the Infectious Disease and Outbreak staff.

Once a review is complete, if the death is attributed to COVID-19, the individual will be added to the official death count. The reported deaths total is a cumulative number and does not decrease once a death has been confirmed to be from COVID-19.

The ADPH website now shows additional data elements to describe the state residents who are affected by COVID-19, including age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The website also shows clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of patients, including the number of patients in the ICU and on mechanical ventilation.

To view the data, look for the “Case Characteristics” section under the “Current Situation in Alabama” headline at this link.

On Friday, ADPH released some technical revisions that adjusted wording in the state’s health order. It also clarified social distancing in work-place settings and permissible work and business operations.

ADPH is now also recommending that everyone wear non-medical face coverings in public settings.

RESOURCES FOR ASSISTANCE:

If you are looking for food, work, or other assistance during the pandemic, check out the resources available HERE.

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.

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