20 reported deaths in Alabama as number of COVID-19 cases nears 1,000

Coronavirus

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

UPDATE 3:20 PM 3/31/2020

20 people have been reported dead in Alabama after contracting COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dashboard.

13 of these people were confirmed to have died because of the virus while the others are still being assessed.

Across the state, the ADPH confirmed 979 cases over most of the state. There are only eight counties left that still have no cases so far.

UPDATE 11:00 AM 3/31/2020:

Alabama is now reporting 952 cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths from the virus.

The state is now calculating the number of deaths in two ways: deaths reported and deaths from illness. Deaths reported is the total number of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19 while deaths from illness are all those who have been confirmed dead due to COVID-19 by a physician.

There are 18 reported deaths in Alabama, but only 13 of those have been determined to be from the illness.

New deaths have been reported in Shelby and Montgomery counties.

Back in the Wiregrass, Houston County has no deaths and still counting nine confirmed cases. Southeast Health has also confirmed 11 cases.

ORIGINAL REPORT:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed that one of its employees at the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in Montgomery contracted COVID-19.

According to the ADPH, the employee was not working on COVID-19 testing.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) confirmed the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in an ADPH employee who works at the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in Montgomery. Laboratory testing confirmed this diagnosis.

The individual had no public interaction on the job and was not working on COVID-19 testing. The employee and staff working in close contact with the employee have been sent home for isolation. In addition to the area where the employee worked, the entire building is being cleaned and disinfected according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations.

ADPH has been taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of infection among its workforce. These steps have included encouraging sick employees to stay home, increasing the frequency of cleaning facilities, canceling meetings and staff travel, increasing the use of teleworking among staff, and encouraging social distancing and other preventive measures.  

Meanwhile, Alabama is nearing the 1,000 mark when it comes to its number of COVID-19 cases after the ADPH confirmed 947 cases across the state. Houston County now has nine cases confirmed among residents.

The state still reported six deaths, as of Monday afternoon. However, more have been reported by other officials in different counties.

In total, the state tested at least 6,531 people.

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