UPDATE AS OF 12:06 p.m.
The ADPH website is now listing one case of COVID-19 confirmed in Choctaw County, posted following the original release of this article. Local ADPH and EMA officials are currently waiting confirmation and information about the case. There has been no information that has been verified by officials about the case at this time — DC
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED FROM THE ORIGINAL POST. Update at 11:40 a.m.
Wayne General Hospital in Waynesboro, Miss., is reporting that a young male has tested positive for COVID-19 at their facility. The patient was not hospitalized but was sent home under quarantine orders, according to a statement issued by the hospital.
Numbers and locations of confirmed cases are rapidly changing. Posts will be updated as we have confirmed information from officials.
(ORIGINAL ARTICLE: posted on March 26 at 9:26 a.m.)
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has officially confirmed that a Jackson County resident who passed away on Wednesday is the state’s first coronavirus-related death.
The ADPH is reporting that the woman had underlying health problems and died in a facility outside the state.
Jackson County is in North Alabama, near the Tennessee state line. Media outlets are reporting that she passed away in a Chattanooga hospital.
The death had been reported by media sources on Wednesday evening, but the ADPH was, at that time, still confirming that the death was, in fact, related to COVID-19.
News reports from Wednesday stated that the woman was a part-time employee at the Jackson County Courthouse, but her job did not require much contact with the public, according to Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey.
On Thursday morning, the ADPH listed 449 confirmed cases in the state, with 2,812 tests performed. The state now has cases in 39 of the 67 counties.
Over the past two days, cases have been reported for the first time in Cleburne, Blount, Butler (county), Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Colbert, Dallas, Lawrence, Marshall, Pickens, Pike, Russell and Wilcox counties.
No cases have been confirmed in Choctaw County.
Among neighboring counties, Marengo and Washington counties are each reporting one case. There are no confirmed cases in Sumter or Clarke counties.
Jefferson County is currently the hardest hit county in the state with 141 cases as of Thursday morning. According to reports from al.com, at least 60 patients are now hospitalized in that county. More than half of those patients are on ventilators.
Overall, the ADPH is stating that the hospitalization rate for those testing positive for COVID-19 is about 8 to 9%.
In Mississippi, officials have reportedly confirmed 377 cases, with five deaths reported by the Mississippi Department of Public Health. A COVID-19 patient has been reported as being treated at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, but the MDPH is not reporting any cases among residents of Lauderdale County. No cases are listed for Clarke or Wayne counties.
ADPH officials are again encouraging the general public to follow the orders of the State Health Officer including limiting gatherings of 25 or more persons and maintaining social distancing of six feet or more among other recommendations. In addition, ADPH encourages everyone to take precautions including the following behaviors:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
An ADPH toll-free hotline has been set up for general information about COVID-19. Residents can call 800-270-7268. Calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English.
The COVID-19 General Information Email address is email@example.com.
In addition, another toll-free phone line has been set up to provide information about available testing sites and hours of operation statewide at 888-264-2256.