Chambers County up to eight COVID-19 related deaths, second most in Alabama

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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Chambers County has topped 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, becoming only the sixth county in Alabama so far to hit triple digits.

Chambers County is second in the state in reported deaths with eight, behind only Jefferson County’s 11, according to Tuesday afternoon numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health. There have been 62 reported deaths statewide, meaning as of press time, deaths in Chambers County made up close to one-eighth of the statewide total.  Jefferson County — Alabama’s largest county in terms of population — leads the state in total cases as well with 456 confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Troup County, Georgia was up to 46 total cases at noon on Tuesday and three total deaths. The three deaths were all females with underlying health conditions, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. They were ages 37, 61 and 66, according to GDPH.

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East Alabama Medical Center said in a press release Monday that 34 patients were in the hospital with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Another 26 had COVID-19 but had been previously discharged.

There were also 22 individuals in the hospital with suspected cases of COVID-19 awaiting test results. Another 17 were previously suspected to have COVID-19, but their tests were negative.

As of Monday afternoon, EAMC had tested 1,753 people, but 1,313 (75 percent) of those tests were negative.  Another 168 tests were still waiting on results, meaning roughly 15 percent of test kits had returned positive.

“For weeks before Gov. Ivey’s Stay at Home order was put in place on Friday, EAMC has been pleading with the public to shelter in place at home,” the hospital’s press release said. “While we were all very relieved to hear Gov. Ivey issue the order, unfortunately, due to the many exceptions in place in the order, not much has changed in our community since it went into effect on Saturday. Children are still playing together, people are still congregating in public places, and stores are packed with people. Looking at our predictive modeling tools, in order to flatten the curve and save lives in our community, social distancing needs to be at 100%.”

In response, the hospital has released social distancing guidelines.

The hospital said that shelter in place means staying at home with immediate family members only and not leaving home except for essential activities such as food, medical care and work. It also listed that it doesn’t mean inviting friends, neighbors or family members over to your house or going to their home.

“If they don’t normally live with you, you do not need to spend time with them until the threat of the virus has decreased,” the guidelines said.

As part of the guidelines, the hospital also pleaded with everyone not to attend church services in person.

“We have solid proof right here in our community that people gathering at churches as well as funerals is a very serious matter and sadly has caused many hospitalizations and even deaths. The risk for both is just too great,” the guidelines said.

Other dos and donts included only going to the grocery store when absolutely necessary and only going to the office to work if you cannot work from home.