COVID-19 Updates

Updated: Friday, March 27, 2020

(WBRC) The Alabama Department of Public Health confirms there are now 538 cases of coronavirus and three virus-related deaths in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most cases per county with 173, while Shelby has 53 cases. These numbers were updated at 7 a.m. on Thursday, March 27.

There’s no way of telling how many cases will be confirmed in Alabama, but the state began taking precautions on March 13 when the second case was confirmed. Thursday, March 26, Gov. Kay Ivey announced all public schools will close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Students will move to online or distance learning.

The ADPH reports 4,082 people have been tested, but adds total tested primarily represents tests that were satisfactorily performed by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Bureau of Clinical Laboratories (BCL), along with some data from commercial labs. Commercial labs are required, by law, to report positive tests to ADPH. Some commercial labs do not report negative specimens.

According to Dr. Scott Harris, the age range for patients is less than 1 year to 97-years-old.

Updated: Monday, March 23, 2020

New COVID-19 testing site opens downtown on Monday, appointments required

A new COVID-19 testing site will open Monday in Birmingham.

The Downtown COVID-19 Testing Site will begin seeing patients at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Patients MUST make an appointment in order to receive a test. Patients will be seen from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. seven days a week.

Starting at noon on Sunday, those who have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been in contact with someone who has the novel coronavrius can call 205-975-1881 and be screened by a medical provider. The provider will schedule an appointment time if the caller does have COVID-19 symptoms.

On Monday, those who think they need a test can call 205-975-1881 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. to schedule an appointment.

The testing site will be located at the corner of University Boulevard and 22nd Street South.

Again, you cannot get a test if you do not have an appointment. Appointments must be made ahead of time. The site is sponsored by UAB Medicine and the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Alabama’s first coronavirus patient released from hospital: https://www.wbrc.com/2020/03/17/alabamas-first-coronavirus-patient-released-hospital/

Jefferson County health officer Dr. Mark Wilson says he is ordering strict prohibitions starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, regarding the coronavirus:

  • Effective March 17, all gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited in Jefferson County.  All senior citizen centers and senior citizen gatherings shall be closed. The United Way is working to provide those meals on a delivery system and through Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers.
  • All nursing homes and long term care facilities shall prohibit visitors, expect for compassionate care.
  • Effective March 19-April 6 – all private schools for all grades will be closed.
  • Preschools and childcare centers with 12 or more children will be closed.
  • Any restaurant, brewery or bar shall not permit onsite food or drink to be served for at least one week. This could be extended.

Outside Jefferson County:

  • Oak Mountain school system send letters to parents saying confirmed case of student with COVD
  • New guidance of no more than 10 people gathering. Was 200 Sat, 50 Sunday and now 10 today
  • City of B’hm announced state of emergency
  • US troops / families banned from domestic travel starting today
  • BHM hospitals issued coordinated change in visitor policy

Updated: Monday, March 16, 2020

2:00 PM Mayor Randall Woodfin declares a state of emergency
https://www.birminghamal.gov/2020/03/16/mayor-randall-l-woodfin-calls-state-of-emergency-for-city-of-birmingham-due-to-coronavirus-threat/?fbclid=IwAR2IYvJFfmy2d–op5cak9JHunc_ZKx6GXWyi_QLOmcSYZOghO4Ed3bCKy0

9:00 AM Newly Confirmed Alabama Case(s):

Alabama confirmed its first 22 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) this weekend.

The first six cases were announced Friday evening, six more cases were announced Saturday and 10 cases were announced Sunday. Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency Friday after the first confirmed case and closed public schools for two-and-a-half weeks.
– Baldwin (1)
– Elmore (1)
– Lee (1)
– Jefferson (12)
– Limestone (1)
– Montgomery (1)
– Shelby (2)
– Tuscaloosa (3)

County School Closings:
– Advent Episcopal School
– Alabaster City Schools
– Bessemer City Schools
– Birmingham City Schools
– Blount County Schools
– Chilton County Schools
– Fairfield City Schools
– Fayette County Schools
– Hale County Schools
– Homewood City Schools
– Hoover City Schools
– Jefferson County Schools
– Leeds City Schools
– Marion County Schools
– Mountain Brook City Schools (E-Learning until 3/19)
– Oneonta City Schools
– Pelham City Schools
– Pell City Schools
– Pickens County Schools
– Shelby County Schools
– Southminister Day School
– St. Clair County Schools
– Sumiton Christian School
– Tarrant City Schools
– Vestavia Hills City Schools
– Walker County Schools
– Winfield City Schools

Drive-Thru Testing:
3660 Grandview Parkway in Birmingham, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. (Starting Tuesday, March 17th)
DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa on Dr. Edward Hillard Drive, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Keep Yourself Updated:
Birmingham established a program for COVID-19 text alerts.

To receive alerts text “BHMCOVID” to 888-777

March 13, 2020
Confirmed Alabama Case(s):

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) – The Alabama Department of Public Health confirms the state’s first confirmed case of coronavirus Friday morning.

The City of Montgomery posted on Twitter the case is in Montgomery County. The tweet says that someone came in contact with the virus on a trip out of the state.

Officials with the Department of Public Health is saying this could last 6-8 weeks, but it could be longer. They say it’s not a time to stock on food, it’s a time to be prudent and continue normal routine.

Gov. Kay Ivey released the following statement:

“Along with my fellow Alabamians, I have closely monitored the rapidly changing events regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a state, we have taken precautionary measures and made preparations in the case that the virus would eventually reach our state. As I have emphasized time and again, the safety and health of Alabamians is paramount.

“Alabamians are smart and savvy, and I know they will continue taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread to themselves or others. We have taken a calm and collected approach in preparation for this first confirmed case, and we need to remember that calm and steady wins the race. Alabamians should not be fearful, but instead, use commonsense to watch out for themselves and others. We will remain engaged on the matter and continue prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all Alabamians.

“I am grateful to the work of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, as well as the members of my Coronavirus Task Force and countless individuals who are also watching and working on this situation closely.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris released the following statement:

“The Alabama Department of Public Health has worked hard to prepare and has anticipated receiving a report of the first case of COVID-19 in an Alabama resident. We continue to recommend that people be prudent and encourage them to use proper hygiene behaviors such as handwashing, not touching their faces with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they have fever. As a precaution, it is suggested that any gatherings of more than 500 people be postponed or canceled.”

 

Testing Available:

https://www.wbrc.com/2020/03/13/drive-through-testing-covid-available/

 

Don’t Panic:

Recommended Steps to Prevent Illness:

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person – to – person;

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

 

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus; but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

Steps to protect yourself:

  • Clean and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  The CDC’s definition of close contact is, being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case – or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)
  • Put distance between yourself and other people

 

Watch for symptoms, the following may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

 

What to do if you are sick:

  • Stay home; people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.  You should restrict activities outside of your home, except for medical care.
  • Avoid public areas; do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation; avoid using public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.

Recovery story from Seattle

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/health/coronavirus-survivor-elizabeth-schneider/index.html

Cancelled Events:

– Birmingham District Two Town Hall – March 12
– Elevate the Stage – March 13-15
– Birmingham Hammerfest – March 14
– Five Points South St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March 14
– UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball – March 14
– Cher – March 18
– Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – April 3-5
– Elevate the Stage – March 13
– Lauren Daigle – March 20
– Birmingham Barons Season Delayed
– SEC Sports on hold until at least March 30
– Auburn football will postpone the start of spring football practice and all football related activites. The program will continue to assess the situation moving forward. Practice was originally scheduled to begin March 6.
– Birmingham Legion FC suspending season for the next 30 days