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Alabama COVID-19 deaths double overnight as case count approaches 1,000

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At least 24 people in Alabama have died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to state public health officials, and the virus that causes the disease has been found in at least 999 people so far.

The state’s Public Health Department Tuesday updated its count of deaths from the disease caused by the new coronavirus behind the global pandemic, with fatalities now confirmed in nine of Alabama’s 67 counties. The state Tuesday added a count for “reported deaths,” those who have died after testing positive for the virus. That’s separate from a count of those confirmed to have died of the disease caused by the virus, after a review by a physician and state public health officials, a number which stood at 13.

Three confirmed COVID-19 deaths are known in Chambers County and two each in Lee and Shelby counties; Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery and Tallapoosa each have one resident known to have died of the disease, according to Public Health.

On Monday, state health officials had confirmed six COVID-19 deaths. 

The number of confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus in Alabama continued to climb, with cases in all but eight of Alabama’s 67 counties. Among local counties, there were 15 cases confirmed by the state in St. Clair County, nine in Calhoun County, seven in Talladega County and five in Cleburne County.

No information about patients, such as age, sex or other factors has been reported by Public Health for any of the known cases. Health officials have said they release only patients’ county of residence to protect their privacy.

The known cases statewide come from at least 7,249 tests, the Public Health Department reported.

Much of the state, nation and world is adjusting to increasingly dramatic action to halt the spread of the new coronavirus and the illness it causes. In Alabama, state officials Friday announced new restrictions on retail businesses, and banned public gatherings of 10 or more people. Layoffs and other losses have begun hitting workers in many industries, as people heed warnings to remain at home as much as possible. Thousands of Alabama workers have filed unemployment claims over the last two weeks, according to the state’s Labor Department.

COVID-19 Alabama case count

A graph showing the growth in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama, as reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

In Washington, Congress on Friday approved and President Donald Trump signed a relief package reportedly worth more than $2 trillion that includes cash payments to most Americans, expanded unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses and other aid for some industries and hospitals.

And on Sunday night, Trump announced that federal government guidelines for social distancing to limit the spread of the virus will be extended through April 30.