More testing essential to reopening economy, governor’s office says

More testing essential to reopening economy, governor’s office says
According to the data map from ADPH, more than 45,700 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Alabama.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey, along with other governors, participated in a call with Vice President Mike Pence Monday that focused on the economy.

The governor’s office said Pence stressed the importance of having adequate testing for states to reopen.

According to the governor’s office, the state is working to increase COVID-19 testing capacity, especially in rural areas. Private labs and UAB have helped, but testing capacity is still an issue.

“To regain a fully functioning economy, increasing our testing capacity is a must, and the Ivey Administration, along with our private partners, will continue exhausting all efforts to make this a reality,” said Gina Maiola, Gov. Kay Ivey’s press secretary.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said restaurants, gyms, hair salons and other businesses in his state may begin reopening statewide Friday.

Alabama is under a statewide stay at home order that required nonessential businesses to close. It is set to expire May 1. The governor said she and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris would review the order on or before April 28.

Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth is calling on the governor to reopen some businesses immediately and others in phases in May.

The recommendations were made in a report released Friday. Ainsworth also tweeted this on Monday:

Ivey responded to the report Friday by thanking Ainsworth and saying reopening the state would be a gradual process.

As of Monday, there were more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the state of Alabama. According to the data map from ADPH, more than 45,700 people have been tested and 113 are confirmed to have died from the virus.

ADPH says there have been 164 deaths reported but not all have been confirmed to have been related to the virus.

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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, 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.

RESOURCES FOR ASSISTANCE:

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

If you have questions about where to get tested, if you need to be tested or anything else related to the novel coronavirus, call the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The ADPH has two hotlines set up to answer general questions and provide information about how and where to get tested.

For testing sites and hours of operation, call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 hotline at 1-888-264-2256.

For general COVID-19 questions, call 1-800-270-7268 or email covid19info@adph.state.al.us. Calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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