Ivey orders closure of certain non-essential businesses

The number of COVID-19 infections in Alabama rose to 702 on Saturday from 638 a day earlier, with the virus spreading to 54 of the state's 67 counties.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 10:57 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The number of COVID-19 infections in Alabama rose to 702 on Saturday from 638 a day earlier, with the virus spreading to 54 of the state's 67 counties.

Alabama's official death toll remained at three, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, but Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Saturday that five more people had died at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika since Friday, including two Lee County residents and three Chambers County residents.

Officials have said they are investigating a number of other deaths that could be virus-related.

On a per capita basis, the highest concentrations of infections are mostly around Birmingham and Auburn, according to Associated Press calculations.

Chambers County, with 17 infections, had the highest per capita infection rate, followed by Walker, Greene, Lee and Shelby counties. All five of those counties had infection rates more than double the statewide average.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities pose particular concerns because of concentrations of older adults who may have other medical conditions. AL.com reports that seven nursing homes across the state are now reporting cases including South Haven Health and Rehab in Hoover, with two employees, Arbor Springs Health and Rehab in Opelika, with one employee and one resident and Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation in Dothan, with two residents.

State Health Officer Scott Harris said Friday that at least 10% of the known patients have been hospitalized. He said half of the hospitalized patients are in intensive care and a third are on mechanical ventilation.

Across Alabama, meanwhile, some customers spent the day making final visits to nonessential businesses that Gov. Kay Ivey ordered to shut down at 5 p.m. Saturday.

That list includes gyms, barber shops, theaters, casinos, book stores, department stores, clothing stores and nail salons. It does not include such businesses as manufacturing facilities, grocery stores and restaurants that offer take-out.

“It’s a sad situation, it’s messing with a lot of folks livelihood and providing for their family,” Matt Moffatt of Thaddeus Barber and Beauty Salon in Mobile told WKRG-TV.

The move is the state's most aggressive action to date to try to curb the spread, but falls short of a “stay at home” directive that some states have ordered. The governor cited economic concerns for families and businesses in allowing more places to stay open.

Tuscaloosa and Birmingham have ordered people to stay at home unless going out for food, medicine or work at essential businesses. Montgomery and some suburbs set a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly curfew beginning Friday night.

Ivey on Saturday posted thanks on social media to Apple and Alabama native Tim Cook for donating 63,000 virus-filtering masks, part of the tech company's pledge to donate 10 million masks to medical workers.

Hyundai Motor Co. announced late Friday that a closure at its Montgomery plant will extend until April 13. The 3,000 workers there must take vacation time in order to be paid. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville said Friday it was shutting down almost all onsite operations, except for security, astronaut safety and critical hardware operations, with employees expected to work remotely starting Monday.

In a news conference Saturday, Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said the hospital system has tested more than 3,000 people in North Alabama for coronavirus and expects the number of positive cases to increase. Spillers tells WAAY-TV that hospitalized patients are spending 10 to 12 days before being released.

Alabama 's two Catholic bishops announced Friday that churches would remain closed through at least April 18, meaning there will be no public services leading up to or on Easter Sunday, which is April 12.

Others are canceling church services that had previously been re-invented to protect against contagion. The Rev. David Dale tells Al.com that he's called off Fairview United Methodist's service, which has been set Sunday for a drive-in movie theater in Centre. Dale said he interprets Ivey's order closing movie theaters to apply.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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