COVID-19 continues to spread; 116 new cases in week
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Although the rate of occurrence seems to have slowed a little, the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus pushed the total confirmed cases count in Escambia County past the 500 mark.
Alabama Department of Public Health officials reported in an updated report filed Tuesday, July 14, that 522 county residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, 126 more than ADPH reported on July 7.
Escambia County Healthcare Authority officials reported that local hospitals have collected 213 positive samples between them, up 52 over July 7 figures.
At Atmore Community Hospital, 253 samples (out of 1,376 collected) have given positive results, an increase of 37 over the past week. The results of 112 other tests were still pending when the report was filed, and two samples have returned inconclusive results.
D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton reported a 15-case increase, bringing the total of positive tests at that facility to 60. DWM staff collected only 23 specimens over the past week, bringing to 550 the total collected there. Of those, 465 have brought negative results, 22 are still pending and three brought inconclusive results.
Statewide, ADPH reported that Alabama has experienced 54,768 confirmed cases, out of 518,827 samples collected, with 1,096 deaths attributed to the virus.
The sudden increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks has not altered the plans or operations of most local businesses or government entities. Both Atmore City Hall and the Escambia County Satellite Courthouse remained open.
Several fast-food establishments have re-opened their indoor dining areas, while others have stuck to drive-through service only. Some local restaurants are still observing carryout or delivery restrictions, although some others are open for dine in.
The only local closing confirmed this week is the temporary closure by First National Bank & Trust of its south branch, located on Lindbergh Avenue.