Some restrictions eased as pandemic curve begins to level off
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Alabama of Public Health officials have watched anxiously as the COVID-19 virus has continued to be a force to be reckoned with. But, according to data released by ADPH this week, the pandemic’s “curve” seems to be flattening to some degree.
The number of confirmed cases within the state has now exceeded 8,000. Health officials reported that 310 Alabama residents had died from the viral disease.
But, according to a Cumulative Case Count chart prepared by ADPH, the novel coronavirus wreaked most of its havoc around April 10, when confirmed cases reached a peak. As the number of people tested has increased, there have been spikes in the total cases confirmed, around April 13, April 22 and May 2.
Locally, Escambia County Healthcare Authority officials reported in their Tuesday, May 5, report that 24 COVID-19 samples taken at Atmore Community Hospital have given positive results. The hospital has administered 298 tests, with 254 negative results. Nineteen other tests are pending lab results, and one test was inconclusive.
At D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton, 171 people have been tested, with four positive cases, 161 negative and six pending.
Two county residents have died from the effects of the virus, but neither state nor local healthcare officials will provide any information on the victims, including ages, areas in which they lived or whether they were tested and hospitalized locally.
In an attempt to revive Alabama’s struggling economy, Gov. Kay Ivey loosened last week some of the restrictions that had been in place since her Stay-at-Home order was issued in mid-March. The state’s beaches opened to large crowds last weekend, and most businesses initially considered “non-essential” were allowed to resume business operations, with health safeguards in place.
Some local “non-essential” businesses — including The Philanthropic Seed, Canoe Furniture and Home Furniture — have reopened. Others, like The Tot Shop, offer curbside pickup and shopping by appointment only.
Courthouse open; city hall not
The Escambia County Courthouse was reopened to the public on May 4, and the county’s satellite courthouse in Atmore is expected to reopen next Monday, May 11. (See related story, this edition.)
Atmore City Hall remained closed Tuesday, and city officials have not announced a timetable for reopening the city government center.