This article is about a current pandemic where information can change quickly or be unreliable. The latest page updates may not reflect the most up-to-date information. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Alabama|
Map last updated on March 22, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. Confirmed casesEDT
|Index case||Montgomery County|
|Arrival date||March 13, 2020|
|Confirmed cases||981 |
|Alabama Department of Public Health|
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Alabama in March 2020. As of March 31, 2020, the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed 981 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state.
On January 22, the Alabama Department of Public Health asked healthcare providers to conduct screening of patients seeking care for influenza-like illnesses with travel to Wuhan, China, and said the "CDC continues to believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time."
On February 4, the Alabama Department of Public Health asked travelers to mainland China who returned to the United States on or after January 22, 2020 to Infectious Diseases and Outbreaks Division as soon as they arrive in Alabama. On the same day, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey delivered the "State of the State" address, with no mention of COVID-19.
On February 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that an Anniston, Alabama facility would be used as a COVID-19 quarantine center. On February 23, Governor Ivey announced cancellation of the HHS plans to use an Anniston, Alabama facility as a quarantine center.
On February 28, the Alabama Department of Public Health recommended individuals protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting a flu shot and "other normal precautions".
On March 2, the Alabama Department of Public Health advised individuals to "wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when you are ill, and practice social distancing strategies". ADPH also asks universities and colleges to implement plans to mitigate spread of disease on their campuses. On March 5, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced state laboratory capability of COVID-19 testing and criteria for testing eligibility. March 6 saw the formation of Alabama Coronavirus task force.
On March 12, all schools were closed from March 18 until April 6. Governor Ivey said: "There’s no need to panic or close huge events right now." Urges Alabamans to wash hands, cover coughts, and fist bump instead of shaking hands. On March 13, Governor Ivey declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus. On March 15, Gov. Ivey authorized state agency directors to implement work from home and flexible work schedules. On March 16, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced recommendations concerning public gatherings, food establishment and other retail venues, and businesses, including no mass gatherings of 50+ persons or more.
On March 18, statewide health order prohibited all non-work related gatherings of 25+ persons or any non-work related gatherings that cannot maintain consistent six-foot spacing between people. The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed that the number of positive coronavirus cases had increased to 78 in the state. Public and private beaches closed. Governor Ivey announced that Alabama's Primary Runoff Election would be postponed to July 14.
On March 20, the total number of confirmed cases has surpassed 100, to 106. Gov. Ivey authorizes up to 100 Alabama National Guard members to assist with response "if it becomes necessary." The Alabama Department of Public Health refined guidance on public gatherings. Auburn University announced postponement of its spring graduation ceremony and a move to fully online classes after spring break.
On March 22, the total number of confirmed cases reached 150. On March 24, Birmingham issued a stay-at-home order (as a 24-hour curfew) effective March 24 to April 3. On March 25, the total number of confirmed cases jumps to 386 from 219. The number of people tested is 2,812. The first death in the state is reported in Jackson County. Tuscaloosa city mayor Walt Maddox issued a city-wide curfew, lasting from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. each day, effective March 27 to April 3.
At a March 26 press conference, Governor Ivey said that she would not issue a shelter-in-place order, saying "... we are not Louisiana, we are not New York state, we are not California ... right now is not the time to order people to shelter in place." Tuscaloosa extended its city-wide curfew to 24 hours, beginning March 29 at 10:00 p.m., set to last an additional week. The Tuscaloosa stay-at-home order (the second in the state) came after Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's opinion published on the same day that provided cities and counties with more authority to combat the pandemic.
On March 27, all "non-essential businesses" in the state were ordered to be closed until April 17, including barbershops, furniture stores, gyms, casinos, theaters, arcades, night clubs, salons and spas. ABC stores would remain open. Governor Ivey again refused to issue a state-wide shelter-in-place order, saying "I have the responsibility to look statewide and in this case, one size does not fit all" and that she has to "keep an eye on the economy"; she added that she would not object to county and city-level containment efforts. Montgomery mayor Steven Reed enacted an indefinite, 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew starting the night of March 27 to help contain COVID-19. The order does not impact essential businesses.
The Alabama Department of Labor reported that from March 22–26, 59,783 Alabamians filed for unemployment, a five-fold growth over last week's 9,138 filings. Meanwhile, Archbishop Thomas John Rodi of the Archdiocese of Mobile and Bishop Robert Joseph Baker of the Diocese of Birmingham continued the suspension of public Mass in Alabama through April 18, meaning no Easter Sunday Mass on April 12, in what Rodi called a "painful decision". Baker and Rodi initially issued the suspension of public Mass on March 17.
By the end of March 28, there were 720 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama. Although the confirmed state death count was three at the time, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said that of the around 19 COVID-19 patients at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, five had died between the morning of March 27 and 3:15 p.m. on March 28. Two of the deaths were Lee County residents and three were residents from Chambers County, Harris said. Meanwhile, by March 28, the virus was confirmed in at least six nursing homes in the state. Governor Ivey announced that Apple donated 63,000 N95 masks for Alabama healthcare providers.
By 5:30 p.m. on March 29, Alabama had 827 confirmed cases while the death toll reached at least 10 after the East Alabama Medical Center announced its sixth fatality in three days, although the official count provided by ADPH was only 4 deaths. By this time the EAMC was the only hospital in the state to announce a COVID-19 death. The Mobile County Health Department also recorded a death not yet reflected by ADPH numbers. Residents in the Opelika area were holding a "Park and Pray" service twice daily in support of the hospital staff at the EAMC. A similar scene was observed in the DCH Regional Medical Center parking lot in Tuscaloosa where a local church organized a worship service there.
Alabama reaches 1,000 cases. 1106 cases with 28 deaths.
On March 12, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cancelled all winter and spring tournaments, most notably the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, affecting colleges and universities statewide. On March 16, the National Junior College Athletic Association also canceled the remainder of the winter seasons as well as the spring seasons.
On March 22, Mobicon, an annual fan convention held in Mobile announced that the 2020 iteration of the convention scheduled for the last weekend of May had been postponed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
|2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases in Alabama
Updated March 29, 2020