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Calhoun County now has 1,438 cases of COVID-19

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The Calhoun County Health Department conducted free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Alexandria Elementary School Thursday morning. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

Health officials reported 33 new cases of coronavirus in Calhoun County Friday, bringing the county's total number of cases to 1,438, according to numbers released Saturday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Nine people in Calhoun County have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to official state numbers. Local officials have identified two additional deaths they believe will eventually be added to the official count.

In Calhoun County, there's no sign the spread of the virus is slowing. On Thursday, the county saw its worst numbers yet, with 110 new cases of the virus identified.

Over the past two weeks, the county has averaged about 50 new cases per day, with the number of people infected doubling about every two weeks.

Statewide, there are signs that July's surge in new cases is now leveling off. According to ADPH numbers, 86,780 people in the state have had coronavirus, with 1,553 deaths as of Saturday morning. That number included 1,600 new cases identified Friday.

Average daily numbers of new cases have been steady for the past week, after climbing sharply throughout the last month.

Gov. Kay Ivey in mid-July announced a public health order requiring masks for most people in public places, though it’s unclear whether that’s the reason the numbers have leveled off. ADPH on Friday issued a press release saying that a high volume of cases has led to increased turnaround times for test results. ADPH in the past has told people to expect test results to take two to three days. In Friday’s announcement, the department said the lag time is now as much as seven days.

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.