UPDATE: Shelby County nears 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer and ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Numbers continue to rise as more tests come back positive for COVID-19, and on the afternoon of Friday, March 27, Shelby County’s total of confirmed cases neared 70, while the state total surpassed 600 total cases.

Shelby County now has a total of 69 cases, which is 17 more than it had the afternoon before in the latest numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state’s numbers have jumped drastically in the last three days going from 283 cases on Wednesday morning up to 627 on Friday afternoon. It marks the largest jump for the state since the outbreak began on Friday, March 13, as 4,755 tests have been given and more results are released.

The state has also seen its first three deaths from the novel coronavirus with the ADPH confirming deaths in Jackson County, Huntsville and Florence.

Shelby County is one of now 41 counties with multiple cases of COVID-19 and still has the second highest total of confirmed cases. Jefferson County makes up the bulk of the count with 179 confirmed cases, as their numbers continue to rise, while Madison County is now at 60 confirmed cases and Lee County has 51.

A total of 12 counties have 10 or more confirmed cases. Other distinct numbers include 24 confirmed cases in Walker County, 23 in Mobile County, 22 in Tuscaloosa County, 18 in Montgomery County and 15 in both Chambers and Limestone counties.

In addition to that, Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Cleburne, Coosa, Covington, Cullman, Dallas, Dekalb, Elmore, Etowah, Franklin, Houston, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pike, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Washington, Wilcox and Winston all have multiple cases.

Other counties listed as having one confirmed case of COVID-19 include Butler, Cherokee, Choctaw, Clay, Colbert, Crenshaw, Escambia, Greene, Lamar, Lowndes, Pickens, Randolph and Russell.

This latest update featured 53 of Alabama’s 67 counties with at least one confirmed case.

It also comes the same day as a positive test at Thompson High School and the week after positive tests came out of three Shelby County schools featuring students that have come in contact with people at Oak Mountain Intermediate and Elementary schools, Helena High and Middle schools and Calera High and Middle schools.

Testing for COVID-19 is now being done by appointment at UAB as well as Total Care 280 in the North Shelby area off U.S. 280 and It’s About Time Urgent Care in Helena. You are urged to get tested only if you present symptoms of a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have been in contact with somebody who has the virus.

UAB is encouraging you to call 205-975-1881 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. to describe your symptoms. They will then determine whether you present what could be COVID-19 symptoms, in which case they’ll set an appointment for you to get tested the next day.

If you think you have been exposed or have symptoms, please isolate and call your doctor or nearest medical facility for guidance or call the Alabama Department of Public Health hotline at 1-888-264-2256.

For more information about COVID-19, visit Alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.

To view an updated dashboard of confirmed cases and see testing sites, visit Alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7