After the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases in Alabama so far, the state has more than 1,400 known cases, and at least 35 people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus that causes the disease.
The state Public Health Department’s count of positive tests Friday rose to 1,432. Among local counties, new cases brought the total in St. Clair County to 22, and in Calhoun County to 16. Talladega County has 11 reported cases and Cleburne County has six.
Thursday saw the count of cases statewide rise by 164, the largest daily increase of the crisis since the first cases were reported March 13. There have already been 162 additional cases reported Friday.
Of the 35 people in Alabama known to have died after testing positive for COVID-19, Public Health says it has confirmed 21 of those died because of the disease. There were no reported deaths in local counties as of Friday morning. The Public Health Department’s latest updates to its count show deaths in 16 of Alabama’s 67 counties.
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 9,581 tests, the Public Health Department reported.
Calhoun County’s Emergency Management Agency on Friday afternoon announced a 4 p.m. news conference to discuss requests for federal and state medical help to deal with the expected impact of the disease.
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 Washington, experts at a White House briefing on the disease on Tuesday afternoon said that even with widespread limits on people’s movements and on businesses and schools, the United States can expect to see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Thursday 4,513 people in the U.S. had died of the disease.
In Alabama, state officials last week 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 three weeks, according to the state’s Labor Department.
This weekend, President Donald Trump announced that federal government guidelines for social distancing to limit the spread of the virus will be extended through April 30. In Washington, Congress last week approved and 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.