100-plus new cases in county in last 4 days
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Despite Gov. Kay Ivey’s mandatory face-covering edict, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Escambia County residents continued to grow at an alarming rate since July 24.
According to an updated report issued by Alabama Department of Public Health on Tuesday, July 28, the county now has or has had 859 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 115 cases over July 24 figures, with 15 deaths attributed to the virus.
The report shows that 80,309 Alabama residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and the disease has been blamed for 1,446 deaths across the state.
The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the populations of the county’s nursing home population, as well as the people who work at the two facilities.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that through July 12 Atmore Nursing Center had 33 residents and 19 staff members who had tested positive. At West Gate Village in Brewton, CMS reported that 63 residents and 31 staff members had tested positive through July 12.
Staff at Atmore Community Hospital have collected 1,811 specimens, with 405 positive results, 1,326 negative readings, 69 cases pending lab analysis and 11 that were inconclusive for COVID-19.
Of 800 specimens collected at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton, 138 people have tested positive. The DWM tests resulted in 653 negative readings, with 32 tests pending lab results and nine specimens that gave inconclusive results.
Alabama Department of Public Health altered its original quarantine period this week, relying on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in announcing that “most adults who have had mild to moderate COVID-19 illness can now leave isolation after completing 10 days in-home isolation, and persons do not need to be retested before returning to work.” The change was made because the latest scientific data shows most people are no longer infectious 10 days after symptoms begin. Equivalent data for infants and children is not currently available.
ADPH asks that the public consider the following information:
- Persons who test positive are out of isolation 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
- Persons who have ongoing contact with the case will have to home-quarantine 14 days after the end of the case’s isolation.
- If COVID-19 patients have had a fever, the recommended number of hours that have passed since their last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications is reduced from 72 to 24 hours to discontinue isolation.
- Asymptomatic persons can discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARDS-CoV-2 RNA.
- For persons who were diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 and remained asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date symptoms began for the initial COVID-19 infection.
- For persons who tested positive for the virus but never developed symptoms, the date of the first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA should be used in place of the date of symptom onset to determine length of isolation.
For more information about COVID-19, visit alabamapublicheath.gov.