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UPDATED: CVMC announces testing guidelines; local facilities release updates on COVID-19 numbers (with photos)

SYLACAUGA -- Coosa Valley Medical Center in Sylacauga announced Monday its guidelines for testing during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Glenn Sisk, hospital president and CEO, released an official statement via email.

“Coosa Valley Medical Center is actively testing patients presenting to our Emergency Department or as inpatients that have active symptoms associated with COVID-19,” he said. “These symptoms are similar in nature to those of flu. CVMC made a decision not to actively test outpatients primarily predicated on two concerns. 

“First, people are encouraged to remain home as much as possible in order to limit the risk of spread and exposure. Secondly, we are working to preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to be used for those patients who have tested positively or are otherwise actively symptomatic for the virus. 

“Members of the CVMC medical staff, along with our clinical support team, remain squarely focused on this approach and stand ready to address any health care concern that might arise.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, CVMC had completed 37 COVID-19 tests, but not all results have been recorded.

Officials with CVMC reported two patients are hospitalized there with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, four outpatients are confirmed positive for COVID-19 and were advised to immediately quarantine at home, and one inpatient with a confirmed positive test has been discharged and advised to immediately quarantine at home.

Night of prayer

The Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce will partner with CVMC to hold a night of prayer at the hospital tonight at 7. The organizations are promoting prayer for all medical teams, health care workers, first responders, local law enforcement and all who are being affected by COVID-19.

The gathering will take place with the following protective guidelines in place:

- Attendees must stay in their vehicles;

- Turn off flashers when entering the main parking lot;

- If the parking lot is full when people arrive, they can drive through and pray as they drive; and

- Do not block emergency exits or emergency entrances.

CVMC also requests for people who are able to pause with hospital staff for a prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity to impact people’s lives and also to pray for God’s peace, replacement of fear with courage and stability around COVID-19. These prayers are set for 1:19 a.m. and 1:19 p.m. daily.

St. Vincent’s St. Clair

Lauren Nichols, marketing and communications lead for Ascension of Alabama, provided an update for Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair in Pell City.

“To date, we have had zero confirmed inpatient cases of COVID-19 at Ascension St. Vincent's St. Clair,” she said. “We are referring individuals seeking COVID-19 testing to the centralized community testing phone number at 205-975-1881. Community testing is being coordinated through this centralized process.”

Those seeking testing locations may call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-264-2256 for locations and hours of operation.

Citizens BMC

Citizens Baptist Medical Center in Talladega is a part of the Brookwood Baptist Health System, which includes five hospitals in Alabama, according to spokeswoman Laura Clark.

“At this time, across our Brookwood Baptist Health System, we are treating five positive COVID-19 patients,” Clark said. “We will continue reporting to public health officials under established legal reporting protocols and will defer to our local health department and state health officials to release additional data regarding cases of COVID-19.”

Clark would not specify which of the system’s five hospitals were currently treating cases. 

She added, “Citizens BMC is committed to keeping our patients, our staff and our community safe. We are in regular contact with county and state public health officials and we are continually updating our response plans as the situation evolves. 

“Our nurse managers are closely monitoring our supplies and making sure we have the right equipment in the right place. We are preparing for the number of cases to increase, as experts at the CDC and the county expect.

“We have also been retraining staff members on how to use the protective equipment, so that it is top of mind during this time of heightened attention to infectious disease.”

Citizens routinely treats infectious disease cases year round and “has procedures and systems in place to screen and treat patients,” Clark said. “In the event we see a surge of positive cases that need to be hospitalized, we have plans in place to continue providing care safely, including continuing to tightly manage our inventory and adding to our supplies from both traditional and new suppliers; managing our demand by taking down our census; postponing surgeries when possible; and repurposing existing space within the hospital to maximize capacity if needed.”

Staff writers Taylor Mitchell and Chris Norwood contributed to this story


Contact Shane Dunaway via email at or on Twitter @DailyHome_Shane.