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County's COVID-19 death toll jumps to 17

Calhoun County's official death toll from COVID-19 rose to 17 over the weekend, according to numbers released Monday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The actual numbers are likely higher. Local officials last week announced that they knew of 20 deaths that were likely due to the coronavirus, even though the official state count stood at 13.

A prominent local resident, Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson, also died Friday after being admitted to the coronavirus unit at Regional Medical Center in Anniston, possibly bringing the count to 21.

Across the state and in Calhoun County, there were signs that the recent surge of new cases is beginning to slow. Daily average numbers of new cases have leveled off both in the county and statewide over the past week. Nearly a month has passed since Alabama issued a public health order requiring most people to wear face coverings in public places.

Across the state, nearly 100,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to  state number, with 1,733 dead.

In Calhoun County there have been 1,807 positive tests for COVID-19 since March.

Free drive-through testing for the virus will be available at Greater Thankful Missionary Baptist Church on 14th Street in Anniston Tuesday from 7-11 a.m., according to an announcement from the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency.

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