MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 3,531 new or probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. While that didn’t beat the record of 3,928 set the day before, it is the third straight day in which the state has topped at least 3,000 cases.
Since Sunday, the state has added nearly 12,500 new cases, a significant and rapid increase.
Doctors continue to note that the majority of new cases are still not related to the Thanksgiving weekend, rather they were contracted ahead of the holiday. That raises concerns about how fast new cases that were contracted during holiday gatherings will escalate in the days and weeks to come.
Doctors are now describing the spread as “uncontrolled community based transmission.”
According to ADPH data, there have been 260,359 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the state since the disease was first discovered here in mid-March.
Alabama’s death toll stands at 3,776.
Hospitalizations also continue to climb, breaking records daily. On Sunday, the state reported 1,609 in-patients, 1,717 on Monday, 1,785 on Tuesday, and 1,801 on Wednesday. Thursday’s data is not yet available.
In Montgomery and Prattville, Baptist Health reported 1101 in-patients, as of Thursday, while Jackson Hospital’s latest data indicates it has 34.
Health experts say, like case numbers, hospitalization rates are also still not connected to Thanksgiving gatherings due to incubation periods of five to 14 days for the disease.
A total of 25,821 people have been hospitalized statewide since March 13.
There have been 168,387 presumed recoveries. ADPH says this number is updated weekly.
ALABAMA CORONAVIRUS DATA
If you are looking for food, work, or other assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, resources are available.
HOW TO GET TESTED/HEALTH INFO
There’s a testing hotline to provide info about available testing sites and hours of operation. Call 888-264-2256, give your zip code, and the nearest location to you will be provided.
A separate hotline for questions about COVID-19 is at 800-270-7268 or a general info email address is email@example.com.
The COVID-19 Tracker tool allows viewers to scroll through interactive maps and videos. Numbers are updated and new content is added daily.
A partnership between Walmart and Quest Diagnostics has made testing sites available to anyone who may be exhibiting symptoms as well as health care workers and first responders. All appointments will be drive-thru and in the Walmart parking lots and will be guided by Walmart pharmacist volunteers and Quest employees.
Montgomery has a text alert system to provide the latest information on the coronavirus. To register, text MGMSAFE to 888-777 or visit mgmready.com. This is for anyone living in Montgomery, Montgomery County, or Pike Road.
STATE OF ALABAMA
The State of Alabama has launched the website altogetheralabama.org - an online resource that is a hub of information for the state’s response to coronavirus.
A separate website provides real-time answers to questions about everything from COVID-19, a symptom checker developed by UAB, and information on testing site locations.
- Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Act which gives people a bump in the amount of SNAP benefits they can receive. To apply for SNAP benefits you can go online to myalabama.gov.
- The Montgomery Area Food Bank has a way for residents to easily find food pantries and help.
- The City of Montgomery has a food access hub offering an interactive map that lists providers offering free meals to students and others in need.
If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to seek unemployment benefits.
Workers can file for benefits online or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is encouraged.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
WSFA 12 News has a tool to help you find businesses that are open during the coronavirus outbreak. Visit www.wsfa.com/shoplocal to browse businesses and add yours to the list.