COVID-19

This is a running update compiled by the Dothan Eagle concerning news and advisories related to the coronavirus focusing on the local, state, regional and national level.

Updated: Friday, April 10, 3:30 p.m.

Area residents asked to wear universal face coverings in public

Following the lead of state health officials, Dothan and Houston County residents are being urged to wear non-medical face coverings into public settings in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Joint Information Center said city and county officials have been advised by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concerning this recommendation, and officials are adding it to its list of safety measures to follow.

“This should not replace the practices we already have in place of social distancing, to stay at home, and to frequently wash your hands. This is just another step to end this pandemic,” Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said.

Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver is also encouraging people to follow Alabama’s stay-at-home order.

“Many people are still questioning whether they can go out and mingle,” Culver said. “The answer is emphatically, no. Stay-at-home means stay at home unless you are getting groceries, working or one of the other few essential activities. This recommendation to wear a mask just adds to it.”

Since medical masks should be reserved for those in the medical profession and first responders, the JIC asks everyone to use a non-medical mask, face covering that can be made at home, a scarf or a bandana.

Instructions on how to make face masks can be found on CDC’s website at https:cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/dry-cloth-face-coverings.html

Saliba and Culver also encourage area residents to remember the community, state and nation in prayer while observing Easter this weekend.

Updated: Friday, April 10, 12:40 p.m.

JIC releases new Southeast Health, Flowers Hospital update

As some health officials predict a peak in the number of COVID-19 cases late next week in Alabama, positive coronavirus tests results released Friday from both Dothan hospitals show the local growth pattern is not spiking as it is in some counties around the state.

In a Joint Information Center report issued Friday, Southeast Health reports 54 positive cases, the same number as Thursday, and Flowers has 12, which represents an increase of four cases since Wednesday. The JIC, which communicates local coronavirus information for the Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Agency, issues a combined report for both hospitals three times a week.

Southeast Health’s revised data, which also reflects updates from the hospital’s website Friday, shows 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 19 confirmed inpatients who have been discharged, 40 tests pending (including 24 inpatients awaiting results), and 200 negative results. The medical center has also reported nine deaths, and 294 tests have been performed by the hospital.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reports it has 12 confirmed positive cases and 29 test results pending. The hospital has performed 172 tests.

Houston County has not reported a new coronavirus-related death since Wednesday.

At noon today, the Alabama Department of Public Health says there are 2,921 confirmed coronavirus cases with 20,605 tests performed. Additionally, 79 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state confirmed 58 of those as being caused by coronavirus.

Updated: Thursday, April 9, 9:30 a.m.

Ivey: Enhanced Alabama search engine available

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday announced the launch of a COVID-19 search engine tool that enhances the state’s official resource site, altogetheralabama.org.

Through a public-private partnership between Yext and the state of Alabama, this innovative platform will provide real-time answers to questions about everything from the virus itself, through a symptom checker that was developed at UAB, to upcoming COVID-19 testing site locations.

This service is free of charge and can be accessed either through altogetheralabama.org or directly at covid19.alabama.gov.

Using this search engine, someone can type a question about COVID-19 and get instant results directing them to answers from our local, state and federal partners.

The search engine provides factual information regarding this new virus and will provide additional information that complements the work of the Alabama Department of Health.

Updated: Thursday, April 9, 9:30 a.m.

Alabama sending $600 jobless checks

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced Thursday that Alabama has begun paying the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit that was established with the passing of the federal CARES Act in late March.

ADOL began paying the FPUC benefits on Wednesday. Claimants whose claims have processed should expect to see the funds within 2-3 days, if not sooner. ADOL paid $40,060,495 in FPUC benefits to 60,848 claimants this week.

Under the legislation, anyone receiving unemployment compensation benefits is eligible for the additional $600 a week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount (maximum of $275/week).

The payments will be made for eligible weeks beginning on March 29, 2020 through July 25, 2020. This does not refer to the date the original claim was filed, but to the weeks being claimed. For example, if someone filed their initial claim on March 16, 2020, and remains out of work, they will not receive the additional $600 for the weeks beginning March 15 or March 22, but would receive it for the week beginning March 29, and all weeks going forward.

ADOL will make payments retroactively for weeks already claimed since March 29, 2020.

ADOL is encouraging anyone who believes they may be eligible for these programs to file a claim at www.labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is strongly encouraged.

Those who already have an active claim, or who have already filed a claim, do not need to refile to be eligible for these benefits. ADOL will begin processing PUA and PEUC claims as soon as administratively possible.

Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 5:15 p.m.

ALEA dispels rumors during stay-at-home order

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is receiving a high volume of inquiries from motorists concerning enforcement along Alabama roadways, particularly since Gov, Kay Ivey announced April 3 the stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19.

Questions include whether law enforcement will set up checkpoints at Alabama state lines and/or ban motorists from entering the state.

“These are rumors,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “ALEA State Troopers continue to patrol roadways daily, to promote public safety and to enforce the law. There are no plans to shut down our state borders.”

According to the stay-at-home order in effect until 5 p.m. April 30, every person is ordered to stay at his or her place of residence except as necessary to perform “essential” activity. There are exceptions, all of which are listed https://www.alea.gov/covid-19-response.

Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 4 p.m.

Southeast Health, Flowers update number of cases

Both Dothan hospitals are reporting an increase of COVID-19 confirmed cases, according to the Joint Information Center.

In the JIC report issued Wednesday afternoon, Southeast Health is reporting 44 positive cases and Flowers now has eight. The JIC issues a combined report for both hospitals three times a week.

Southeast Health’s revised data shows 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 14 confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 62 tests pending (including 44 inpatients awaiting results), and 155 negative results. The medical center has also reported 9 deaths, and 260 tests have been performed by the medical center.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reports it has eight confirmed positive cases and eight test results pending. The hospital has performed 137 tests.

The next JIC report is expected on Friday.

Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 12:15 p.m.

Geneva County finally reports confirmed case

Geneva County became the last county in Alabama to report its first COVID-19 confirmed case on Wednesday, according to state health officials.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s website notes the county has performed 41 tests through this morning. No other details about the case was reported.

As of noon Wednesday, ADPH reported 2,290 confirmed cases statewide and 18,982 tests performed.

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2:35 p.m.

Wiregrass Transit suspending service on Thurdsay

The Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (SEARP&DC) is temporarily suspending all Wiregrass Transit Dial-A-Ride bus operations effectively after close of business on Thursday.

The suspension is deemed necessary due to the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension of the bus service will be in effect through April 30 and will be further evaluated as situations change.

For additional information contact Jarrod Weed, transportation director at 334-794-4093 ext. 1431.

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 11:30 a.m.

Houston County reporting 9 deaths

The ninth COVID-19-related death is being reported by Dothan’s Southeast Health on its website this morning.

No additional information was released about the death. Houston County is the only area in southeast Alabama to report coronavirus-related deaths.

The Alabama Department of Public Health Alabama says statewide there have been 54 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 39 of those as being caused by the coronavirus.

Southeast Health’s revised data this morning shows 42 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 12 confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 43 tests pending (including 33 inpatients awaiting results), and 137 negative results. A total of 241 tests have been performed by the medical center.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported Monday it had six confirmed positive cases and 13 test results pending. The hospital has performed 126 tests.

State health officials are reporting 2,054 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,765 tests performed. Jefferson County continues to the lead the state with 443 cases and 11 reported deaths.

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 8 a.m.

Ivey announces altogetheralabama.org in response to virus crisis

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey has announced the launch of altogetheralabama.org, an online resource that will serve as a hub of information for the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The site becomes the state’s official guide to COVID-19 relief efforts, to help empower those impacted by the outbreak and those who want to offer support.

“We wanted to quickly create a trusted resource that centralizes information, resources and opportunities for businesses and individuals in need of support,” Ivey said. “We are all in this together.”

The website is designed to be a comprehensive guide to aid in navigating all issues related to the COVID-19 response. Individuals and business owners can seek help and identify state and federal resources that can provide a lifeline in the form of low-interest loans and financial assistance.

Business owners, for example, can learn about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which launched April 3 to provide a direct incentive for them to keep their workers on the payroll. Displaced workers, meanwhile, can use the site to learn about enhanced unemployment benefits.

At the same time, the site will function as a pathway for Alabama’s good corporate citizens and the general public to offer support and solutions that can help spark recovery across the state. It will act as a portal for companies, non-profits and individuals to volunteer, make donations of supplies, offer an assistance program, and even post job openings.

The site was developed in partnership with Opportunity Alabama, a non-profit organization that promotes investment in the state’s designated Opportunity Zones.

Any business, program or individual who would like to join ALtogether as a resource in COVID-19 response and relief can register at altogetheralabama.org/join

Updated: Monday, April 6, 12 p.m.

Houston County suspends all in-person proceedings.

The Houston County Commission adopted a resolution Monday suspending all in-person proceedings at  buildings owned or leased by the county through April 30.

In passing the resolution, the county follows other state and federal governments in declaring an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution notes several challenges currently facing county residents and employees, including the closing of schools and the statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect on Saturday, as reasons for the measure being addressed. 

Updated: Monday, April 6, 11 a.m.

COVID-19- related death toll increases in Wiregrass

Two more COVID-19-related deaths are being reported by Dothan’s Southeast Health on its website this morning, raising the coronavirus death toll to seven in Houston County.

No additional information was released about the deaths. Houston County is the only area in southeast Alabama to report coronavirus-related deaths.

The Alabama Department of Public Health Alabama says statewide there have been 45 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 32 of those as being caused by the coronavirus.

Southeast Health’s revised data this morning shows 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases, nine confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 30 tests pending (including 27 inpatients awaiting results), and 132 negative results. A total of 205 tests have been performed by the medical center.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reports this morning it had six confirmed positive cases and 13 test results pending. The hospital has performed 126 tests.

Updated: Monday, April 6, 9:30 a.m.

Coronavirus claims life of Abbeville state lawmaker’s sister

The sister of State Rep. Dexter Grimsley has died from COVID-19.

Grimsley’s sister, Lorianne Shakespear, 59, of Birmingham, passed away this past weekend from the coronavirus.

Shakespear was an Abbeville graduate, and previously served her community as a registered nurse.

“We thank the Lord for the time he allowed us to have with her,” Grimsley said. “She had three children and two grandchildren, and she loved them all very much. As I thank the Lord for the time he allowed me to have with her, I want to urge everyone to be cautious as they move through our state. Take this issue seriously. It can affect anyone.”

Grimsley extends his gratitude to everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers to the family.

Grimsley is from Newville and represents Alabama House District 85.

No additional information is available at this time.

Updated: Sunday, April 5, 10:10 a.m.

Southeast Health records fifth coronavirus-related death in Houston County

A fifth COVID-19-related death is being reported by Dothan’s Southeast Health on its website this morning.

The medical facility, where 35 coronavirus confirmed cases have been recorded, announced Houston County’s fourth death related to the virus on Saturday evening.

Today, no additional information was released on the death. Houston County is the only southeast Alabama county to report deaths related to the coronavirus.

Additionally, the Alabama Department of Public Health Alabama on Sunday said there have been 45 reported deaths statewide of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 31 of those as being caused by the coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

Houston County is the only one in the Wiregrass with a new positive case on ADPH’s website since Saturday night: Houston, 15, up one case; Dale, two, no change; Coffee, seven, no change; Pike, 11, up one case; Barbour, two up one case; and Covington four, no change.

ADPH reports positive test results toward the county of residence for Alabama patients. Tests performed in Alabama for people who live out of state are not counted in state totals.

Southeast Health’s revised data this morning shows 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 10 confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 40 tests pending (including 16 inpatients awaiting results), and 123 negative results. A total of 192 tests have been performed by the medical center.

On Friday, Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported it had three confirmed positive cases and six test results pending. The hospital has performed 75 tests. Revised updated numbers are expected to be released on Monday.

As of 10 a.m. today, the ADPH reported that 1,676 confirmed cases have been documented statewide with 13,078 tests performed. The counties with the most cases are Jefferson-397, Madison-130, Shelby-128, Mobile-122, Lee-105, Chambers-88, Montgomery-65, Walker-49 and Tuscaloosa-44.

Updated: Saturday, April 4, 6:30 p.m.

Southeast Health announces fourth coronavirus-related death in Houston County

Houston County’s fourth COVID-19-related death was reported by Dothan’s Southeast Health on its website Saturday evening.

The medical facility did not release any additional information on the death. Houston County is the only southeast Alabama county to report deaths related to the coronavirus.

Additionally, the Alabama Department of Public Health Alabama on Saturday said there have been 44 reported deaths statewide of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 26 of those as being caused by the coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

Wiregrass counties with positive cases changed slightly on ADPH’s website since Friday: Houston, 14, up two cases; Dale, two, up one case; Coffee, seven, up one case; Pike, 10, no change; Barbour, two up one case; and Covington four, no change. Geneva County remains the lone southeast Alabama county where no positive results have been reported to ADPH.

ADPH reports positive test results toward the county of residence for Alabama patients. Tests performed in Alabama for people who live out of state are not counted in state totals.

Southeast Health’s revised Saturday data shows 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 10 confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 38 tests pending, including 13 inpatients awaiting results, and 121 negative results. A total of 187 tests have been performed by the medical center.

On Friday, Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported it had three confirmed positive cases and six test results pending. The hospital has performed 75 tests. Revised updated numbers are expected to be released on Monday.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the ADPH reported that 1,614 confirmed cases have been documented statewide with 10,829 tests performed. The counties with the most cases are Jefferson-373, Madison-125, Shelby-123, Mobile-110, Lee-100, Chambers-87, Montgomery-60, Walker-48 and Tuscaloosa-41.

Updated: Friday, April 3, 4:20 p.m.

Ivey issues stay at home order effective Saturday at 5 p.m.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday the state will implement a stay at home order effective Saturday at 5 p.m.

Ivey, who had not issued an order while surrounding states recently put similar measures in place, said she is confident a stay at home order is the right move for the state's residents, especially with the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths increase daily.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Updated: Friday, April 3, 12:10 p.m.

JIC updates confirmed cases at Southeast Health, Flowers Hospital

Dothan’s two hospitals are reporting a combined 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases after performing 257 tests, according to the local Joint Information Center (JIC) on Friday.

Per the JIC report, Southeast Health reports 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases, nine confirmed inpatients who have been discharged, 13 current inpatients who tested positive, 55 tests pending (including 25 inpatients awaiting results), and 104 negative results. A total of 182 tests have been performed by the medical center. Southeast Health announced earlier this week the first death in Houston County related to the coronavirus.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reports it had three confirmed COVID-19 cases and six test results pending. The hospital has performed 75 tests.

The two healthcare facilities provide different statistical numbers to the JIC, which is coordinating the distribution of coronavirus information for Dothan and Houston County. At this time, the JIC is distributing new information concerning test results on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Updated: Thursday, April 2, 7:35 p.m.

COVID-19 test site opens at Farm Center, Southeast Health updated info

In a move to assist with coronavirus testing, Public Health Administrator with ADPH Corey Kirkland said Thursday a test site has been set-up at the Houston County Farm Center to perform limiting tests and to help ease the number of tests being performed at area medical facilities.

Kirkland said to be eligible for a test, a person must meet specific qualifications. The patient must be symptomatic with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and either be age 65 or older, a healthcare worker, or a person with health conditions that puts them at a higher risk, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer, or other conditions that weaken immune systems. He added a physician referral is not needed but is beneficial for the process.

Thursday evening, Southeast Health had 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases, eight confirmed inpatients who have been discharged, 59 tests pending, including 31 inpatients awaiting results, and 88 negative results. A total of 168 tests have been performed by the medical center. Southeast Health announced earlier this week the first death in Houston County related to the coronavirus.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital, via the local Joint Information Center (JIC), reported on Wednesday that it had three confirmed positive cases and four test results pending. The hospital had performed 70 tests. Flowers' next update is expected on Friday.

Updated: Thursday, April 2, 4:35 p.m.

Coffee County reports first confirmed case 

Coffee County reported its first case of COVID-19 Thursday afternoon, according the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The only detail released by ADPH was the person is a Coffee County resident.

With the confirmed case, Coffee becomes the fifth Wiregrass area county to report at least one patient who has tested positive for coronavirus. The other counties are Houston, Dale, Pike and Covington.

Most patients with COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness along with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some have more severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Health officials urge anyone experiencing symptoms to first notify their healthcare provider so that proper precautions can be taken. This will help protect others from exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses.

Updated: Thursday, April 2, 9:30 a.m.

Alabama reporting 1,116 cases Thursday; county-by-county update

Alabama is reporting 1,116 confirmed coronavirus cases and 17 deaths directly attributed to COVID-19 on Thursday morning.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said it’s including information on reported deaths from coronavirus in numbers released on its website. The state said there have been 32 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 17 of those as being caused by coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

The ADPH website’s dashboard lists the following counties with coronavirus-related deaths: Chambers (4), Jackson (1), Lauderdale (1), Lee (2), Madison (1), Mobile (3), Montgomery (1), Shelby (2), Tallapoosa (1) and Washington (1). Houston County reported the death of one patient who tested positive.

As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the ADPH reported 1,116 confirmed cases have been documented in the state with 7,774 tests performed.

In the Wiregrass, there are now four counties reporting cases: Houston (9), Pike (7), Covington (2) and Dale (1). No positive tests results have been reported for Coffee, Geneva, Henry and Barbour counties.

Here is a county-by-county list of confirmed cases:

• Autauga (10)

• Baldwin (23)

• Bibb (3)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (2)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (11)

• Chambers (48)

• Cherokee (2)

• Chilton (13)

• Choctaw (4)

• Clarke (2)

• Clay (3)

• Cleburne (6)

• Colbert (4)

• Conecuh (1)

• Coosa (4)

• Covington (3)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (9)

• Dale (1)

• Dallas (3)

• DeKalb (6)

• Elmore (15)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (10)

• Fayette (1)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (4)

• Hale (1)

• Houston (9)

• Jackson (8)

• Jefferson (305)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (13)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (85)

• Limestone (23)

• Lowndes (1)

• Macon (2)

• Madison (107)

• Marengo (5)

• Marion (11)

• Marshall (6)

• Mobile (61)

• Monroe (3)

• Montgomery (35)

• Morgan (19)

• Pickens (4)

• Pike (7)

• Randolph (5)

• Russell (2)

• Shelby (89)

• St. Clair (17)

• Sumter (3)

• Talladega (8)

• Tallapoosa (14)

• Tuscaloosa (30)

• Walker (32)

• Washington (3)

• Wilcox (3)

• Winston (2)

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Thursday, April 2, 8:35 a.m.

Dale County, Jackson County report 3 confirmed cases

Dale Medical Center in Ozark has confirmed its first coronavirus case, and the Jackson County Department of Public Health in Marianna confirmed two additional cases on Wednesday.

According to Dale Medical Center’s CEO Vernon L. Johnson, the patient is in good condition and the appropriate isolation practices have been initiated to reduce the risk of exposure to other patients and staff.

In a press release, Johnson said the physicians and staff of Dale Medical Center are prepared to meet the needs of the patient and others while maintaining a safe environment for the hospital’s care team.

The Jackson County Health Department confirmed Jackson County’s additional patients are both female residents of Marianna, ages 30 and 38. Both individuals are contacts of a previously identified positive case, and both women are currently isolated at home.

The Florida Department of Public Health is working closely with the patients, additional close contacts and the health care providers to isolate and monitor person who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 and implement testing of anyone who may develop the virus systems.

Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 7:35 p.m.

JIC releases Southeast Health, Flowers Hospital updates

Both Southeast Health and Flowers Hospital reported increases of COVID-19 confirmed cases in a news release from the local Joint Information Center Wednesday evening. It was the first time JIC issued a combined report for both hospitals.

The release stated Southeast Health had 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 10 positive impatients, eight confirmed inpatients that have been discharged, 29 tests pending, including 20 inpatients awaiting results, and 83 negative results. A total of 131 tests have been performed by the medical center.

Southeast Health also reported the death of one patient who tested positive for COVID-19.

Flowers said it had three confirmed positive cases and four test results pending. The hospital has performed 70 tests.

The JIC said it had been working with both Dothan hospitals to provide updates regarding testing and confirmed cases. "It is our goal to provide updated testing information three times per week, initially Monday, Wednesday and Friday." If conditions warrant, the JIC said it will work to provide more frequent updates.

Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 5:55 p.m.

Dale County reports first confirmed case

Dale County is the fourth Wiregrass county to report a positive coronavirus test result, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health on Wednesday.

The ADPH lists Dale with one positive case. No other details were reported.

Dale County joins Houston, Pike and Covington counties in southeast Alabama to have positive tests.

On Wednesday, Houston, Pike and Covington counties all posted new cases. Houston is now at nine, while Pike jumped to seven with three new cases, and Covington has three.

Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 11:50 a.m.

Alabama's confirmed cases top 1,000; 17 deaths reported 

Alabama’s COVID-19 confirmed cases topped 1,000 Wednesday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Just before noon, the ADPH noted it had 1,019 reported. Additionally, the official death toll from the coronavirus remained at 17, but the state is investigating others.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said that it will begin including information on reported deaths from coronavirus in numbers released on its website.

The state said there have been 26 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 17 of those as being caused by coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 9 a.m.

Alabama's death toll at 17, 999 cases reported

Alabama’s death toll related to COVID-19 cases has increased to 17, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health on Wednesday morning.

As the state neared 1,000 confirmed cases with 999 being reported, the official death toll from the coronavirus rose to 17, but the state is investigating others.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said that it will begin including information on reported deaths from coronavirus in numbers released on its website. The state said there have been 24 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 17 of those as being caused by coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the ADPH reported 999 confirmed cases have been documented with 7,249 tests performed.

On its website’s dashboard, ADPH notes the following counties with coronavirus-related deaths: Chambers (4), Jackson (1), Jefferson (1), Lauderdale (1), Lee (2), Madison (1), Montgomery (1), Mobile (2), Shelby (2), Tallapoosa (1) and Washington (1).

In the Wiregrass, there are still three counties reporting cases: Houston (8), Pike (4) and Covington (2). No positive tests results have been reported for Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Barbour counties.

Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 8:55 p.m.

Alabama nears 1,000 cases; 13 deaths reported; county-by-county case list

As Alabama neared 1,000 confirmed cases Tuesday night, the state’s official death toll from the coronavirus rose to 13 but the state is investigating others.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said that it will begin including information on reported deaths from coronavirus in numbers released on its website. The state said there have been 24 reported deaths of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 13 of those as being caused by coronavirus.

The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. ADPH said a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.

As of 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, the ADPH reported 999 confirmed cases have been documented in the state with 7,249 tests performed.

In the Wiregrass, the counties that have posted confirmed cases saw only one change, according to ADPH; one less case was being attributed to Houston County, dropping its count from nine to eight.

The other two area counties, Pike and Covington, were still posting four and two cases, respectively.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health Tuesday increased to 14. In addition to the 14 positive coronavirus test results, the hospital’s website notes it has 29 tests pending, including 24 inpatients who are awaiting results, and has received 73 negative test results since it began testing in March.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported one positive case Monday; no new COVID-19 information has released to the media by Flowers.

Here is a county-by-county list of confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday:

• Autauga (7)

• Baldwin (19)

• Bibb (3)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (3)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (9)

• Chambers (36)

• Cherokee (2)

• Chilton (11)

• Choctaw (3)

• Clay (2)

• Cleburne (5)

• Colbert (4)

• Coosa (4)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (8)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (12)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (8)

• Fayette (1)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Houston (8)

• Jackson (8)

• Jefferson (282)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (12)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (75)

• Limestone (22)

• Lowndes (1)

• Macon (1)

• Madison (100)

• Marengo (4)

• Marion (9)

• Marshall (6)

• Mobile (53)

• Monroe (1)

• Montgomery (31)

• Morgan (20)

• Pickens (4)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (15)

• Shelby (86)

• Sumter (1)

• Talladega (7)

• Tallapoosa (13)

• Tuscaloosa (29)

• Walker (32)

• Washington (3)

• Wilcox (3)

• Winston (2)

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, and the overwhelming majority of people recover. But severe cases can need respirators to survive, and with infections spreading exponentially, hospitals across the country are either bracing for a coming wave of patients, or already struggling to keep up.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 11:15 a.m.

Southeast Health reports 11 COVID-19 cases; state total now at 952

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health increased to 11, and the total cases of Houston County residents testing positive remains at 9 Tuesday morning.

In addition to the 11 positive coronavirus test results, the hospital’s website notes it has 33 tests pending, including 23 inpatients who are awaiting results, and has received 68 negative test results since it began testing earlier this month.

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported one positive case on Monday. No other COVID-19 information was released to the media by Flowers.

Positive cases in Alabama are moving closer to 1,000, reaching 952, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashbord on its website.

In the Wiregrass, there are still only three counties reporting positive test results - Houston, Pike and Covington. The ADPH reports: Houston with nine; Pike four; and Covington two.

Health officials said the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

Although Southeast Health does not release information about patients, it was confirmed that Houston County’s first reported positive case was a patient from Georgia.

There have been no deaths associated with the virus in the Wiregrass, although the ADPH is reporting 13 deaths in the state.

On its website’s dashboard Tuesday morning, ADPH notes the following counties with coronavirus-related deaths: Chambers (3), Jackson (1), Lauderdale (1), Lee (2), Madison (1), Montgomery (1), Mobile (1), Shelby (2), and Tallapoosa (1).

In the Wiregrass, there are three counties reporting cases: Houston (9), Pike (4) and Covington (2). No positive tests results have been reported for Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Barbour counties.

Here is a county-by-county list of confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. Tuesday:

• Autauga (7)                                                       

• Baldwin (18)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (3)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (9)

• Chambers (36)

• Cherokee (2)

• Chilton (10)

• Choctaw (2)

• Clay (2)                      

• Cleburne (5)

• Colbert (4)

• Coosa (4)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (8)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (13)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (6)

• Fayette (1)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Houston (9)

• Jackson (7)

• Jefferson (258)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (12)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (74)

• Limestone (20)

• Lowndes (1)

• Macon (1)

• Madison (96)

• Marengo (4)

• Marion (9)

• Marshall (7)

• Mobile (48)

• Monroe (1)

• Montgomery (29)

• Morgan (19)

• Pickens (3)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (14)

• Shelby (88)

• Talladega (6)

• Tallapoosa (8)

• Tuscaloosa (28)

• Walker (32)

• Washington (3)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH notes it has results from 4,755 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 8:15 a.m.

Alabama's death toll increases to 13

Alabama’s death toll related to COVID-19 cases doubled overnight to 13, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

On its website’s dashboard Tuesday morning, ADPH notes the following counties with coronavirus-related deaths: Chambers (3), Jackson (1), Lauderdale (1), Lee (2), Madison (1), Montgomery (1), Mobile (1), Shelby (2), and Tallapoosa (1).

The ADPH reports 949 confirmed cases have been documented in the state with 6,531 tests performed.

In the Wiregrass, there are three counties reporting cases: Houston (9), Pike (4) and Covington (2). No positive tests results have been reported for Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Barbour counties.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 8:45 p.m.

Alabama cases near 1,000; County-by-county update

Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reported its first COVID-19 case, and a Henry County health care facility confirmed a positive test result Monday as the Wiregrass continues to follow state and national trends of a growing pandemic.

On Monday evening, the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard reported 947 COVID-19 cases and six deaths across the state. In the Wiregrass, there were still only three counties — Houston, Pike and Covington — included in the ADPH totals, and the Henry County positive test was not attributed to that county.

Health officials said the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

The state totals show Houston with nine; Pike four and Covington two. No positive tests have been attributed to Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry or Barbour counties.

In making the announcement through a press release, Flowers shared few details about its confirmed case.

“We have received test results for our hospital’s first confirmed case of COVID-19,” the release stated. “Since identifying the patient as having the symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19, the individual has been separated from other patients in an appropriate infection isolation room which only a small team of caregivers can access. The patient remains in our care, and we are continuing to work collaboratively with the Alabama Department of Public Health.”

Additionally, an employee of Henry County Health and Rehabilitation tested positive for the COVID-19, the facility reported.

According to administrator Chuck Houston, the Henry County Health and Rehabilitation facility was notified Sunday. He said it appears the employee was exposed while in the community.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health remained at nine Monday. In addition to the positive test results, the hospital’s website showed it had 32 tests pending, including 25 inpatients who are awaiting results, and has received 65 negative test results since it began testing earlier this month.

ADPH notes it has results from 6,531 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

Here is a ADPH list of counties reporting positive cases as of Monday night:

• Autauga (7)

• Baldwin (18)

• Bibb (2)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (3)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (9)

• Chambers (36)

• Cherokee (2)

• Chilton (10)

• Choctaw (2)

• Clay (2)

• Cleburne (5)

• Colbert (4)

• Coosa (4)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (8)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (13)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (6)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Fayette (1)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Hale (1)

• Houston (9)

• Jackson (7)

• Jefferson (257)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (12)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (74)

• Limestone (20)

• Lowndes (1)

• Macon (1)

• Madison (96)

• Marengo (4)

• Marion (9)

• Marshall (7)

• Mobile (45)

• Monroe (1)

• Montgomery (29)

• Morgan (18)

• Pickens (3)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (14)

• Shelby (88)

• Talladega (6)

• Tallapoosa (12)

• Tuscaloosa (28)

• Walker (31)

• Washington (3)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH notes it has results from 6,531 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 6:45 p.m.

AME church to give out hot dogs Tuesday

Cherry Street AME Church in downtown Dothan will be giving out free hot dogs on March 31 from 4-6 p.m. Hot dogs will be available to anyone who drives up to the church, located at 308 N. Cherry St.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 3:45 p.m.

Flowers reports first confirmed case; Henry County healthcare facility has positive test

Dothan's Flowers Hospital is reporting its first COVID-19 confirmed case, according to the local officials Monday afternoon.

Chris Etheridge, who serves as the local Joint Center of Information spokesperson, said that Flowers has reported a positive test although no other details have been released to the media.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, Houston County has reported 9 confirmed coronavirus cases as of 3:45 today.

Additionally, an employee of Henry County Health and Rehabilitation tested positive for the COVID-19, the facility reported.

According to administrator Chuck Houston, the Henry County Health and Rehabilitation facility was notified Sunday. He said it appears the employee was exposed while in the community.

“The employee has not worked at our facility since she became aware of the exposure,” Houston said.” We have reported this diagnosis to the Henry County Health Department and to the Alabama Department of Public Health. We informed our residents and staff of this diagnosis and contacted the family of each resident.”

Updated: Monday, March 30, 12:40 p.m.

Southeast Health cases remain at 9; Houston showing 8 positive tests

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health remains at nine Monday, and the total cases of Houston County residents testing positive moved to eight.

In addition to the nine positive coronavirus test results, the hospital's website notes it has 21 tests pending, including 19 inpatients that are awaiting results, and has received 65 negative test results since it began testing earlier this month.

Positive cases in Alabama Monday morning reached 847, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard on its website.

In the Wiregrass, there are still only three counties reporting positive test results - Houston, Pike and Covington. The ADPH reports: Houston with eight; Pike four; and Covington two.

Health officials said the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

Although Southeast Health does not release information about patients, it was confirmed that Houston County’s first reported positive case was a patient from Georgia.

There have been no deaths associated with the virus in the Wiregrass, although the ADPH is reporting six deaths in the state.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties with 248 confirmed cases.

ADPH notes it has results from 6,531 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 11:15 a.m.

Southeast Health cases remain at 9; Houston showing 7 positive tests

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health remains at nine Monday morning, and the total cases of Houston County residents testing positive is at seven.

In addition to the nine positive coronavirus test results, the hospital's website notes it has 21 tests pending, including 19 inpatients that are awaiting results, and has received 65 negative test results since it began testing earlier this month.

Positive cases in Alabama Monday morning reached 831, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard on its website.

In the Wiregrass, there are still only three counties reporting positive test results - Houston, Pike and Covington. The ADPH reports: Houston with seven; Pike four; and Covington two.

Health officials said the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

Although Southeast Health does not release information about patients, it was confirmed that Houston County’s first reported positive case was a patient from Georgia.

There have been no deaths associated with the virus in the Wiregrass, although the ADPH is reporting six deaths in the state.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties with 248 confirmed cases.

ADPH notes it has results from 6,531 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 10:50 a.m.

Houston County Sheriff's Offices closes building

As a precautionary measure to deal with the spread of the coronavirus and safety of its employees, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office building closed to the public effective Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to serve the citizens with patrol units on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The office notes for emergencies, as always, call 911, and for non-emergency situations, call (334) 677-4808.

Updated: Monday, March 30, 10:25 a.m.

Landmark Park closes

Dothan’s Landmark Park will be closed until April 17 to follow Gov. Kay Ivey’s health order that non-essential businesses should close.

The natural science and history park, which focuses on life in the area at the turn of the 20th century, will be posting educational videos on its social media platforms for followers during the closure. Visit https://www.landmarkparkdothan.com/ for updates and social media links.

Updated: Sunday, March 29, 7:15 p.m.

State case total reaches 827

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Dothan’s Southeast Health increased to nine, and the total cases of Houston County residents testing positive reached seven Sunday night.

In addition to the nine positive coronavirus test results, the hospital’s website notes it has 21 tests pending, including 15 inpatients who are awaiting results, and has received 65 negative test results since it began testing earlier this month.

Positive cases in Alabama surpassed 800 Sunday afternoon, reaching 827, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashbord on its website.

There have been no deaths associated with the virus in the Wiregrass, although the ADPH is reporting four deaths in the state, although 6 deaths have been reported at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. Only one of the deaths is included in the state total of four while officials process the information related to each victim.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties with 246 confirmed cases.

Here is a ADPH list of counties reporting positive cases as of Sunday night:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (15)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (3)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (3)

• Chambers (27)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (7)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (2)

• Cleburne (5)

• Colbert (2)

• Coosa (3)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (7)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (13)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (6)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Houston (7)

• Jackson (5)

• Jefferson (246)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (12)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (58)

• Limestone (16)

• Lowndes (1)

• Macon (1)

• Madison (79)

• Marengo (5)

• Marion (10)

• Marshall (5)

• Mobile (41)

• Monroe (1)

• Montgomery (21)

• Morgan (17)

• Pickens (2)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (13)

• Shelby (79)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (8)

• Tuscaloosa (23)

• Walker (30)

• Washington (4)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH notes it has results from 4,755 tests from across the state, however, some commercial testing sites do not submit negative findings to the state.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Sunday, March 29, 8:45 a.m.

5 deaths at east Alabama hospital related to virus

OPELIKA - Five people have died in Lee County due to the coronavirus as of Saturday, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris announced.

All five had died at East Alabama Medical Center since early Friday morning. Two of the deaths were Lee County residents and three were Chambers County residents, Harris said.

On Saturday, the death total was not yet reflected on the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) website because hospital officials and ADPH are working through the process for official state determination before adding them to the COVID-19 death count, EAMC said.

“Our hospital family expresses its collective condolences to the families of these five patients,” stated Laura Grill, EAMC President and CEO. “As everyone knows, this virus has taken a toll on our nation and world, and our community is not exempt from that. Our hearts and prayers are with these families at this very difficult time.”

Grill added, “The ICU staff, respiratory therapists and physicians who worked most closely with these patients are especially struggling and we ask that the community lift them up today just as they have been lifting up our whole organization the past two weeks.”

There are currently 19 patients being treated at EAMC for the virus. Five patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, EMAC said.

There are 22 patients who are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19. Fourteen hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative.

From the Opelika-Auburn News

Updated: Saturday, March 28, 6:40 p.m.

Southeast Health now at six COVID-19 cases; state total now at 712

Dothan’s Southeast Health reported Saturday evening it had six confirmed COVID-19 cases, which increased from five reported cases earlier in the day.

In addition to the six confirmed cases, the hospital’s website notes Southeast Health has 18 tests pending, including 14 inpatients who are awaiting results, and 61 negative test results. On Friday, the hospital had four confirmed cases.

Positive cases in Alabama surpassed 700, reaching 712 Saturday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

In the Wiregrass, counties reporting positive test results are Houston, Pike and Covington, which made the list for the first time Friday.

The ADPH reports Houston and Pike counties each have four positive cases and Covington County has two.

Health officials said the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

Although Southeast Health does not release information about patients, it was confirmed that Houston County’s first reported positive case was a patient from Georgia.

For the first time on Friday, Dothan’s Flowers Hospital Chief Operating Officer Matt Blevins said the hospital had received no positive test results, adding that 38 tests were performed and six results were pending. No other information has been released from Flowers.

Additionally, Dothan’s Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation reported one positive COVID-19 and two negative test results. An article by al.com on Saturday stated Extendicare is one of six nursing homes statewide with at least one positive case.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in confirmed cases. Here is a list of counties reporting positive cases as of Saturday:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (10)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (3)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (3)

• Chambers (17)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (7)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (2)

• Cleburne (4)

• Colbert (1)

• Coosa (2)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (7)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (13)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (6)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (3)

• Houston (4)

• Jackson (5)

• Jefferson (206)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (13)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (56)

• Limestone (16)

• Lowndes (1)

• Madison (62)

• Marengo (3)

• Marion (9)

• Marshall (4)

• Mobile (34)

• Monroe (1)

  • Montgomery (18)

• Morgan (15)

• Pickens (1)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (10)

• Shelby (72)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (5)

• Tuscaloosa (23)

• Walker (28)

• Washington (2)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH has performed 4,755 tests and reported three deaths that are related to COVID-19. The deaths have been reported in Jackson, Madison and Lauderdale counties in north Alabama.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Saturday, March 28, 12:15 p.m.

Southeast Health reports five COVID-19 cases; state total now at 644

Dothan’s Southeast Health is reporting it has five confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the hospital’s website Saturday.

COVID-19 positive cases in Alabama increased by five Saturday, reaching 644, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

In addition to the five confirmed cases, Southeast Health has 21 inpatients who are awaiting test results, and 56 negative test results. On Friday, it had four confirmed cases.

In the Wiregrass, counties reporting positive test results are Houston, Pike and Covington, which made the list for the first time Friday.

The ADPH reports Houston and Pike counties each have four positive cases and Covington County has two.

Health officials note the ADPH’s confirmed cases are recorded in the patient’s county of residence, and out-of-state patients are not added to the county’s total.

Although Southeast Health does not release information about patients, it was confirmed that Houston County’s first reported positive case was a patient from Georgia.

For the first time on Friday, Dothan’s Flowers Hospital Chief Operating Officer Matt Blevins said the hospital had received no positive test results, adding that 38 tests were performed and six results were pending. No other information has been released from Flowers.

Additionally, Dothan’s Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation has reported one positive COVID-19 and two negative tests results.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in confirmed cases. Here is a list of counties reporting positive cases as of Saturday:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (5)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (2)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (3)

• Chambers (15)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (7)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (1)

• Cleburne (3)

• Colbert (1)

• Coosa (2)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (7)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (12)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (5)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (1)

• Houston (4)

• Jackson (5)

• Jefferson (179)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (11)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (53)

• Limestone (16)

• Lowndes (1)

• Madison (61)

• Marengo (2)

• Marion (7)

• Marshall (4)

• Mobile (28)

• Montgomery (18)

• Morgan (13)

• Pickens (1)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (1)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (9)

• Shelby (70)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (5)

• Tuscaloosa (22)

• Walker (24)

• Washington (2)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH has performed 4,755 tests and reported three deaths that are related to COVID-19.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m.

Rucker limiting access on Monday

FORT RUCKER – Effective Monday, access to Fort Rucker will be limited, according to a news release from the U.S. Army Aviation Center on Saturday.

As part of the installation’s COVID-19 force health precautions, beginning 6 a.m. on Monday, March 30, access to Fort Rucker will be limited to only Department of Defense identification card holders, the release states.

Contractors will be required to provide their DA Form 1602 and driver's license or U.S Government Common Access Card. All juveniles age 16 and over are required to have their U.S. Government Dependent ID card for entry to the installation.

The issuance of all future visitor passes will be suspended and personnel with an approved visitor pass will not be allowed access to the installation with the exception of:

>> All routine commercial delivery operations accompanied with an official bill of lading.

>> Personnel that have a valid Veteran's Administration/Health ID card.

The release notes for any special requests by personnel with a visitor's pass that feel they have a true need to enter Fort Rucker, they are directed to send an email to usarmy.rucker.usag.mbx.atzq-pao@mail.mil 48-hours prior to the visit where a decision will be made for special entry based on the reason.

According to the release, the following will not be permitted access to the installation:

>> Restaurant and food deliveries (unless driver has a DOD ID).

>> Taxi and Uber-like services.

Updated: Friday, March 27, 7:50 p.m.

Alabama COVID-19 cases climb to 639

As the COVID-19 confirmed cases climb across Alabama, eclipsing 600, only three Wiregrass counties are reporting positive test results, Houston, Pike and Covington, which made the list for the first time Friday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website.

The ADPH notes Houston and Pike counties each have four reported cases and Covington County has two.

Additionally, Dothan’s Southeast Health’s website showed the healthcare facility has four confirmed cases, 26 pending test results, including 22 inpatients, and 51 negative results.

For the first time on Friday, Dothan’s Flowers Hospital Chief Operating Officer Matt Blevins said the hospital has received no positive test results, adding that 38 tests have been performed and six results were not yet received.

When asked during a press conference with Dothan, Houston County and area healthcare officials, Blevins said Flowers will continue to submit all test findings to the ADPH and does not have plans to release general testing information like some healthcare facilities in the state. Currently, Southeast Health is releasing COVID-19 information on a regular basis, including the number of confirmed cases, pending test results, negative test results and number of inpatients awaiting test results.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in confirmed cases. Here is a list of counties reporting 639 positive cases as of Friday:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (5)

• Blount (5)

• Bullock (2)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (3)

• Chambers (15)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (7)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (1)

• Cleburne (3)

• Colbert (1)

• Coosa (2)

• Covington (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (7)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (4)

• Elmore (12)

• Escambia (1)

• Etowah (5)

• Franklin (3)

• Greene (1)

• Houston (4)

• Jackson (5)

• Jefferson (179)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (11)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (53)

• Limestone (16)

• Lowndes (1)

• Madison (61)

• Marengo (2)

• Marion (7)

• Marshall (4)

• Mobile (23)

• Montgomery (18)

• Morgan (13)

• Pickens (1)

• Pike (4)

• Randolph (1)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (9)

• Shelby (70)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (5)

• Tuscaloosa (22)

• Walker (24)

• Washington (2)

• Wilcox (2)

• Winston (2)

ADPH has performed 4,755 tests and reported three deaths that are related to COVID-19.

Additionally, ADPH notes the total tests results may not include some testing done by private labs, and confirmed cases are recorded by public health officials in the county of residence, even if that county is in another state.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Friday, March 27, 5:35 p.m.

Botanical center to close

In response to Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent health order closing all non-essential businesses, the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens announced the temporary closing of the Ralph & Carolyn Smith Botanical Center effective March 28 at 5 p.m., according to Executive Director William Holman. The garden grounds will remain open for the public to walk the grounds and enjoy the 46-acre garden.

The Botanical Center building will remain closed to visitors until April 18, but staff will be available daily by phone to conduct garden business. The garden office number is 334-793-3224.

“The purpose of closing the Botanical Center is to reduce person-to-person contact,” stated Holman. “The admission is still $5 for adults age 16 or over, with free admission to visitors age 15 or younger and to garden members. The admission will be on the honor system during this time, and visitors can place their admission in the black metal donation boxes at the beginning of the walkways. Hopefully, everyone will be respectful of this and place their fees in the collection boxes.”

The garden’s children’s Jungle Garden playground is also closed temporarily due to the difficulty in sanitizing the playground features.

The Dothan Area Botanical Garden is located at 5130 Headland Ave. in Dothan and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Blue Ribbon activities canceled

The Child Advocacy Center of Southeast Alabama has canceled all of its Blue Ribbon activities planned for April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“We have been following local, state, and federal guidance on public gatherings, as well as the advice of our nation’s leading medical experts,” a notice from the advocacy center stated. “As a result of these factors beyond our control, and as disheartening as it may be, we are canceling all Blue Ribbon events in April … We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to promote education and awareness about the role each of us can play to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Updated: Friday, March 27, 11:50 a.m.

Ivey announces new nonessential closings order

Calling the COVID-19 pandemic "very real," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that all nonessential businesses statewide are to close at 5 p.m. Saturday and remain closed until April 17.

In her announcement, Ivey noted that she will not issue a shelter-in-place order, although she, along with State Health Officer Scott Harris, stressed that residents should continue to stay at home if possible. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health has revised what is a nonessential businesses, including nail and hair salons, barber shops, spas, entertainment venues, casinos, bingo halls, tourist attractions, gyms, fitness centers, specific retail outlets and more. A complete list will be released by ADPH.

The ADPH's report of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased to 567, with 4,755 tests performed. It also announced earlier today that three deaths are being associated with the disease. 

This is a developing story, check back for updates. 

Updated: Friday, March 27, 11:30 a.m.

Alabama State Games rescheduled

The Alabama State Games, originally scheduled June 12-14 in the Wiregrass, have been rescheduled for July 31-Aug. 2.

The event is a regional event – hosted by the cities of Dothan, Ozark and Enterprise, and Houston, Dale and Coffee counties.

The Olympic-style games annually attract athletes from throughout the state to compete in more than 25 sports. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to be held at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.

The games were last held in the Wiregrass from 2015-2017.

Updated: Friday, March 27, 10:45 a.m.

Community blood drive set for Tuesday

The Dothan Salvation Army and American Red Cross are teaming up to hold a community blood drive on Tuesday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The drive will be held at the Salvation Army’s community room at 1001 S. Bell St. in Dothan.

Anyone who would like to donate blood can visit redcrossblood.org, search for blood drives and schedule a time to donate. Appointments can also be scheduled via the American Red Cross Blood Donor app or by calling 800-RED-CROSS.

Updated: Friday, March 27, 9:40 a.m.

Alabama Public Television announces ‘Learn at Home’

With the decision to keep schools closed for the remainder of the school year, Alabama Public Television has announced “Learn at Home with Alabama Public Television” to support learning for students not returning to their physical classrooms.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that Alabama public schools will not re-open for the remainder of the school year due to health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, school districts will provide multiple instructional delivery options to complete critical core academic standards while students can’t attend classes.

To support the efforts, Alabama Public Television (APT) will modify regularly-scheduled weekday programming on its main channel beginning April 6 to offer specific pre-K-12 resources.

Program modifications will take place throughout the duration of school closures and will address a wide variety of content areas, according to a news release from APT. Educators and parents will have access to supplemental lesson plans and curriculum materials to facilitate meaningful use of the content. APT’s digital channel 4, the World Channel, will also update its schedule to devote daytime hours to support education beginning March 30. Also, young children can continue to enjoy their favorite PBS programs 24 hours a day on APT’s digital channel 2, the PBS Kids Channel.

“Alabama Public Television was the first educational television network in the country,” said Phil Hutcheson, interim director for APT. “Education remains our primary mission today, and we will work closely with the State Department of Education to meet the needs of Alabama schools and students in this difficult time. Broadcast programs are especially important because many students lack access to the internet, especially in rural parts of the state.”

APT offers a wide range of free digital resources which teachers have been using for years, including videos, lesson plans and activities that support learning at home. As teachers, students, and families deal with school closures, these digital resources are freely available.

The network has created a curated, comprehensive collection of free online resources organized by grade and subject area. APT’s resources are Alabama state standards aligned, customizable and can be fully integrated with digital teaching platforms like Google Classroom and Remind. Learn more at aptv.org/education.

Updated: Friday, March 27, 8:10 a.m.

Alabama reports 3 deaths, 538 cases

Three deaths are now being blamed on the coronavirus in Alabama, and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state jumped to 538 Friday morning, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website.

In addition to the one death reported by the ADPH on Wednesday in Jackson County, media reports say the two others deaths are linked to Lauderdale and Madison counties. All three counties are in north Alabama.

The ADPH notes Houston County has three reported cases and Pike County two. No other Wiregrass counties area reporting positive test results.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a list of counties reporting positive cases as of Friday morning:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (5)

• Blount (3)

• Bullock (2)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (2)

• Chambers (13)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (4)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (1)

• Cleburne (1)

• Colbert (1)

• Coosa (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (6)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (1)

• Elmore (10)

• Etowah (4)

• Franklin (3)

• Houston (3)

• Jackson (4)

• Jefferson (173)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (9)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (47)

• Limestone (13)

• Lowndes (1)

• Madison (43)

• Marengo (1)

• Marion (7)

• Marshall (3)

• Mobile (21)

• Montgomery (17)

• Morgan (9)

• Pickens (1)

• Pike (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (6)

• Shelby (53)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (4)

• Tuscaloosa (20)

• Walker (18)

• Washington (2)

• Wilcox (2)

ADPH has performed 4,082 tests.

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 9 p.m.

Alabama cases spike to 531

Although the confirmed coronavirus cases in Wiregrass counties remain low, the COVID-19 positive tests across Alabama, as reported on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website, reached 531 Thursday night.

As of the report, Houston County has three reported cases and Pike County two. No other Wiregrass counties area reporting positive test results.

ADPH revised an earlier listing on Thursday that noted Coffee County had one positive case. ADPH noted it learned that the county’s positive test was made erroneously, and that the positive case was a resident of another Alabama county. ADPH does not count non-residents of the county when compiling test results.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a list of counties reporting positive cases as of Thursday night:

• Autauga (6)

• Baldwin (5)

• Blount (2)

• Bullock (2)

• Butler (1)

• Calhoun (2)

• Chambers (13)

• Cherokee (1)

• Chilton (4)

• Choctaw (1)

• Clay (1)

• Cleburne (1)

• Colbert (1)

• Coosa (2)

• Crenshaw (1)

• Cullman (6)

• Dallas (2)

• DeKalb (1)

• Elmore (10)

• Etowah (4)

• Franklin (3)

• Houston (3)

• Jackson (4)

• Jefferson (169)

• Lamar (1)

• Lauderdale (9)

• Lawrence (3)

• Lee (47)

• Limestone (13)

• Lowndes (1)

• Madison (43)

• Marengo (1)

• Marion (7)

• Marshall (3)

• Mobile (19)

• Montgomery (17)

• Morgan (9)

• Pickens (1)

• Pike (2)

• Russell (1)

• St. Clair (6)

• Shelby (53)

• Talladega (4)

• Tallapoosa (4)

• Tuscaloosa (20)

• Walker (18)

• Washington (2)

• Wilcox (2)

ADPH has performed 4,082 tests.

On Wednesday night, ADPH announced Alabama’s first death related to the coronavirus, which was in Jackson County in the northeastern section of the state.

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 4:20 p.m.

Alabama schools to remain closed for remainder of school year

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday afternoon that the remainder of the Alabama public school year will be done on an "instruction from home" basis and students will not return to the physical schools. 

In closing the schools, all K-12 students will begin learning from home for the remainder of the school year.

Ivey said closing the schools is in the best interest of the state's students and teachers due to the increase of the COVID-19 positive test results that surpassed 500 on Thursday.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates. 

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2:25 p.m.

Troy Bank & Trust closing lobbies; drive-thru remains open 

Beginning Monday, March 30, all locations of Troy Bank & Trust will close their lobbies while leaving drive-thru lanes open for business. Access to lobbies will be limited to appointment only.

Customers will still be able to gain access to their safe deposit boxes, but it will be by appointment. Customers can call the location to make an appointment.

Online banking and bill pay, mobile banking and mobile deposit, Zelle, ATMs, debit cards and telephone banking are available 24/7.

For more information, visit the bank’s website or call a Troy Bank & Trust location.

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2:15 p.m.

Texas Roadhouse offers ready-to-grill steaks

Alabama’s Texas Roadhouse locations are now selling ready-to-grill steaks directly to the public. The ready-to-grill kit includes meat, seasonings and directions for consumers to cook at home.

Texas Roadhouse is offering a variety of cuts, including ribeye, New York strip and sirloin. Call the restaurant for details, hours and availability, which varies by location.

Currently, every Texas Roadhouse location is open daily for curbside to-go service and family value packs, which allow guests to pick up food without leaving their cars. Orders can be placed online, through the website or app, or by phone.

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 12:35 p.m.

Alabama's cases reach 472; Coffee County report revised

Although the confirmed coronavirus cases in Wiregrass counties remain low, the COVID-19 positive tests across Alabama, as reported on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website, reached 472 on Thursday around noon.

Houston County has three reported cases and Pike County two, the report notes.

Additionally, the ADPH revised an earlier report of Coffee County having one case. The county’s EMA Director James Brown sent an email to the media stating that ADPH was working to update its information because the county does not have any positive cases reported. The information has been revised on ADPH’s positive test results.

Attached to Brown’s email was an ADPH release that stated “no residents of Coffee County have yet to be confirmed as positive for COVID-19.” ADPH also noted it learned that the county’s positive test was made erroneously, and that the positive case was a resident of another Alabama county. ADPH does not count non-residents of the county when compiling test results.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a list of counties reporting positive cases as of Thursday:

  • Autauga (6)
  • Baldwin (4)
  • Blount (2)
  • Bullock (1)
  • Butler (1)
  • Calhoun (2)
  • Chambers (9)
  • Cherokee (1)
  • Chilton (4)
  • Choctaw (1)
  • Clay (1)
  • Cleburne (1)
  • Colbert (1)
  • Coosa (1)
  • Cullman (6)
  • Dallas (3)
  • DeKalb (1)
  • Elmore (10)
  • Etowah (3)
  • Franklin (2)
  • Houston (3)
  • Jackson (3)
  • Jefferson (144)
  • Lamar (1)
  • Lauderdale (7)
  • Lawrence (2)
  • Lee (45)
  • Limestone (11)
  • Lowndes (1)
  • Madison (39)
  • Marengo (1)
  • Marion (7)
  • Marshall (3)
  • Mobile (16)
  • Montgomery (16)
  • Morgan (8)
  • Pickens (1)
  • Pike (2)
  • Russell (1)
  • St. Clair (6)
  • Shelby (50)
  • Talladega (4)
  • Tallapoosa (4)
  • Tuscaloosa (17)
  • Walker (18)
  • Washington (1)
  • Wilcox (2)

ADPH has performed 4,082 tests.

On Wednesday night, ADPH announced the state’s first death related to the coronavirus, which was in Jackson County in the northeastern section of the state.

Updated: Thursday, March 26, 8:25 a.m.

Alabama's confirmed cases reach 440, one death reported

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased overnight in Alabama to 440, Dothan's Southeast Health is reporting its fourth case, Coffee County has its first positive test, and one death related to the disease has been reported in the state.

As of Thursday morning, the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed 440 positive cases of the COVID-19 in the state, including only two positive cases in Houston County and one in Pike County. Houston, Coffee and Pike are the only Wiregrass counties reporting positive tests. ADPH has performed 2,812 tests.

The case brings Houston County’s total cases to five.

However, the hospital has not release any information about the additional cases.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Alabama’s first death related to the coronavirus Wednesday night, which was in Jackson County in the northeastern section of the state.

According to the Southeast Health website this morning, the healthcare facility is reporting four confirmed cases. Additionally, the website notes that the facility has 13 pending cases and 41 cases that reported negative results.

On Wednesday, Troy University said a student and faculty member both tested positive for coronavirus.

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 8:25 p.m.

Troy University confirms student, faculty member test positive

TROY - Troy University officials learned Wednesday that a student and faculty member from the school's main campus have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, sent a statement Wednesday afternoon to students, faculty and staff that both individuals self-reported to the university and are currently in self-quarantine with no severe symptoms.

Neither is a resident of Troy nor Pike County, and the student did not live in on-campus housing, according to the statement.

Neither individual has been on campus or in contact with students, faculty or staff since the start of spring break, which was March 9-13, “however out of an abundance of caution we wanted to inform the campus community,” the statement said.

“We have been in contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health about both cases, and the ADPH will investigate and contact any individuals who may be at risk of exposure to the virus,”

These are the only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving members of the University community at this time.

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 6:15 p.m.

ADPH reports 386 confirmed cases

The confirmed Alabama coronavirus (COVID-19) cases chart released Wednesday afternoon by the Alabama Department of Public Health shows the state is reporting 386 positive tests.

As of the report, Houston County has two reported cases and Pike County one. No other Wiregrass counties are reporting positive tests.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is the ADPH county breakdown as of Wednesday afternoon: Autauga (4), Baldwin (4), Blount (1), Butler (1), Calhoun (2), Chambers (10), Cherokee (1), Chilton (1), Clay (1), Cleburne (1), Colbert (1), Cullman (4), Dallas (2), Elmore (9), Etowah (3), Franklin (2), Houston (2), Jackson (2), Jefferson (129), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (7), Lawrence (1), Lee (40), Limestone (6), Madison (35), Marion (3), Marshall (1), Mobile (10), Montgomery (13), Morgan (5), Pickens (1), Pike (1), Russell (1), Shelby (42), St. Clair (6), Talladega (3), Tallapoosa (4), Tuscaloosa (15), Walker (9), Washington (1) and Wilcox (1).

ADPH notes it has performed 2,812 tests. There are still no deaths related to the coronavirus in the state.

Although Houston County has three reported cases – two at Southeast Health and one at Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation – only two cases are being reported by ADPH. It was noted earlier that when a case originates outside of the state, it’s not reported by ADPH. The first person who tested positive at Southeast Health is a Georgia resident.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 4 p.m.

Dothan implementing 'no-touch' trash collection

To mitigate possible exposure to the coronavirus, the City of Dothan Environmental Services will implement a “no-touch” policy to its collection procedures starting Monday.

The city will use automated procedures to collect all waste and recycling items. The following is a breakdown for each collection service.

Garbage household waste in the green cart:

>> All garbage collection days will remain the same.

>> All garbage will be collected exclusively by automated means. The only exception to this will be those who are currently enrolled in the city's Helping Hands Program. The Helping Hands truck will continue to provide full service to customers who are unable to bring carts to the curbside.

>> The city will no longer collect any garbage that is outside the cart. All waste must fit inside the cart with the lid closed.

>> All carts must be placed at a minimum five feet away from any structure or object (mailbox, pole, cars, etc.)

Recycling goods in blue cart:

>> All recycle collection days will remain the same.

>> All recycling will be collected exclusively by automated means. The only exception to this will be those who are currently enrolled in the city's Helping Hands Program. The Helping Hands truck will continue to provide full service to customers who are unable to bring carts to the curbside.

>> The city will no longer collect any recycling that is outside the cart. All recycling must fit inside the cart with the lid closed.

>> All carts must be placed a minimum 5 feet away from any structure or object (mailbox, pole, cars, etc.)

>> During this time, Environmental Services will not collect any of the small 15-gallon totes. If residents have a tote and would like to continue recycling efforts, please contact the city at 334-615-3820 and a recycle care will be delivered.

>> Both recycle centers will remain open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2:40 p.m.

Publix to install barriers for cashiers as virus spreads

Florida-based grocery chain Publix announced it will install plexiglass barriers to protect its cashiers, joining other retailers that are installing the shields to protect employees and customers from a coronavirus infection.

The Lakeland-based supermarket chain, which has stores in Dothan, Enterprise and Troy among other Alabama cities, said Wednesday that all 1,200 locations should have the plexiglass partitions installed at the cash registers, customer service desks and pharmacies within two weeks.

Publix has joined its biggest competitors, Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc., in installing the so-called “sneeze guards.”

Grocery stores have seen their business soar as authorities urge people only to go out for essentials, prompting them to stay and cook more at home. The stores have been extremely busy and been forced to close earlier to give workers more time to clean and restock as products fly off the shelves.

Some stores have announced their employees have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Publix announced earlier this week that an associate in Cumming, Georgia, tested positive.

By The Associated Press

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 11 a.m.

Alabama confirmed cases now reported at 283

The confirmed Alabama coronavirus (COVID-19) cases released Wednesday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health increased by 41 overnight to 283. Additionally, Pike County has now joined  Houston County in being the only Wiregrass counties to report positive tests.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is the ADPH county breakdown as of Monday afternoon: Autauga (1), Baldwin (4), Calhoun (2), Chambers (7), Cullman (3), Elmore (9), Franklin (1), Houston (1), Jackson (2), Jefferson (99), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (6), Lee (29), Limestone (6), Madison (21), Marion (1), Mobile (10), Montgomery (9), Morgan (2), Pickens (1), Pike (1), Shelby (36), St. Clair (5), Talladega (4), Tallapoosa (3), Tuscaloosa (10), Walker (8) and Washington (1).

ADPH notes it has performed 2,812 tests. There are still no deaths related to the coronavirus in the state.

Although Houston County has three reported cases – two at Southeast Health and one at Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation – only one case is being reported by ADPH. It was noted earlier that when a case originates outside of state, it’s not reported by ADPH. At least one person who tested positive at Southeast Health is a Georgia resident. 

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 7:55 a.m.

Thousands of Alabamians file for unemployment

MONTGOMERY — Thousands of Alabamians are filing for unemployment benefits, sometimes overwhelming the state application system, as the coronavirus pandemic causes workplaces to temporarily close or reduce operations.

Nearly 17,000 people filed unemployment claims over just two days — Sunday and Monday— according to preliminary numbers given by Alabama Department of Labor spokeswoman Tara Hutchison.

Health officials have acknowledged the economic cost of mandatory closures, but say they're crucial to slow the outbreak as caseloads grow exponentially, threatening to overwhelm hospitals. People can be contagious without showing symptoms and spend days infecting others before falling ill.

Despite this, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey said she was following the lead of President Donald Trump, and expressed reluctance on Tuesday to join other governors in issuing a statewide order shutting down non-essential activities.

Alabama's statewide orders include closing beaches and prohibiting on-site restaurant dining and non-work gatherings of more than 25 people where people can't stay 6-feet (2-meters) apart.

From The Associated Press

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 5:30 p.m.

Alabama confirmed cases reach 242

The confirmed Alabama coronavirus (COVID-19) cases released Tuesday afternoon by the Alabama Department of Public Health increased by 27 to 242, including Houston County still being the only Wiregrass county to report a positive test.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is the ADPH county breakdown as of Monday afternoon: Autauga (1), Baldwin (4), Calhoun (2), Chambers (5), Cullman (3), Elmore (8), Franklin (1), Houston (1), Jackson (2), Jefferson (91), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (3), Lee (26), Limestone (4), Madison (21), Marion (1), Mobile (6), Montgomery (9), Morgan (2), Shelby (27), St. Clair (4), Talladega (2), Tallapoosa (2), Tuscaloosa (10), Walker (5) and Washington (1).

ADPH notes it has performed 2,321 tests. There are still no deaths related to the coronavirus in the state.

Although Houston County has three reported cases – two at Southeast Health and one at Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation – only one case is being reported by ADPH. It was noted earlier that when a case originates outside of state, it’s not reported by ADPH. At least one person who tested positive at Southeast Health is a Georgia resident.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 4:20 p.m.

Ivey not issuing shelter-in-place order

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday she has no plans to follow the lead of other states and issue a statewide “shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Answering questions during a teleconference with state media members along with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, Ivey said she is working to strike a balance between public health and the need for state residents to return to work.

“We have no current plans to do so,” Ivey said. “We are not California, we’re not New York, we’re not even Louisiana."

She added that it’s her goal to keep the Alabama economy strong and keeping state residents healthy and safe.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 1:45 p.m.

Southeast Health reports its second case

A second coronavirus (COVID-19) case has been confirmed at Dothan's Southeast Health, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday. The case brings Houston County's total cases to three.

However, the hospital did not release any information about the patient.

As of Tuesday morning, the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed 215 positive cases of the COVID-19 in the state, including only one positive case for Houston County.

According to the Southeast Health website, the healthcare facility is reporting two confirmed cases. Additionally, the website notes the facility has 26 pending cases, and 17 cases which reported negative results for the virus.

The hospital's first case was reported last week, and that person, who is from Georgia, is still a patient, the hospital confirmed. The patient's condition was not released Tuesday.

On Monday, Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation in Dothan announced it had one patient who had tested positive and two others waiting coronavirus test results.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 11:20 a.m.

Love in Action seeks food, donations

Love in Action is responding to the needs of the community during the COVID-19 crisis. Many people are finding themselves in need of food for their families due to the loss of jobs. Love in Action provides hot meals and a food pantry to those in need.

Due to the increase in people needing help, Love in Action is asking for assistance from those in the community who can help. The following is our current needs list:

>> Financial contributions

>> Cooked casseroles and other dishes we can serve

>> Bread, peanut butter and jelly

>> Non-perishable foods

>> Vienna sausages, beanie-weenies, and other snack items for snack bags we give to the homeless

>> Three-compartment to-go containers

>> Plastic cutlery packets containing knife, fork, and spoon

>> Napkins

Food items can be dropped off after 9 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday at Love in Action, 279 W. Main St. in downtown Dothan. Tax-deductible financial donations can be mailed to Love in Action, P.O. Box 85, Dothan, AL 36302, or donors can give securely online through PayPal via the donation page on our website, https://loveinactionministries.com/donate

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 10:45 a.m.

Alabama reporting 215 cases

The list of confirmed Alabama coronavirus (COVID-19) cases released Tuesday morning from the Alabama Department of Public Health now totals 215, including Houston County as the only Wiregrass county.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is the ADPH county breakdown as of Monday afternoon: Baldwin (3), Calhoun (2), Chambers (3), Cullman (2), Elmore (8), Franklin (1), Houston (1), Jackson (1), Jefferson (90), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (3), Lee (21), Limestone (2), Madison (21), Marion (1), Mobile (3), Montgomery (8), Morgan (1), Shelby (24), St. Clair (4), Talladega (1), Tallapoosa (1), Tuscaloosa (9), Walker (3) and Washington (1).

ADPH has performed 2,321 tests. There are still no deaths related to the coronavirus in the state.

The Houston County listing is attributed to a person testing positive for the virus in Dothan with Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation confirming Monday that one of its residents tested positive. The healthcare facility also said coronavirus test results from two other patients are still pending.

Last week, a patient at Southeast Health also tested positive. However, since that patient was from Georgia, it was not recorded in the official state cases by the ADPH's tracking system because the illness did not originate in Houston County.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 10:30 a.m.

Dothan closes playgrounds

Dothan Leisure services is closing all playgrounds until further notice to practice Centers for Disease Control guidelines of social distancing, which is defined as maintaining 6 foot of distance between individuals.

Along with the playground closures, the Department of Leisure Services is also closing all basketball courts and the Westgate Park fitness courts, until further notice, to help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Updated: Monday, March 23, 6 p.m.

Confirmed Alabama cases near 200

On the list of confirmed Alabama coronavirus (COVID-19) cases released Monday afternoon showing a total of 196, Houston County is the first Wiregrass county to record a positive case.

The local listing is attributed to a person testing positive for the virus in Dothan with Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation confirming Monday that one of its residents tested positive. The healthcare facility also said coronavirus test results from two other patients are still pending.

Last week, a patient at Southeast Health also tested positive. However, since that patient was from Georgia, it was not recorded in the official state cases by the Alabama Department of Public Health's tracking system because the illness did not originate in Houston County.

According to ADPH, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is the ADPH county breakdown as of Monday afternoon: Baldwin (3), Calhoun (2), Chambers (2), Cullman (2), Elmore (6), Franklin (1), Houston (1), Jackson (1), Jefferson (86), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (3), Lee (19), Limestone (1), Madison (21), Marion (1), Mobile (2), Montgomery (4), Shelby (22), St. Clair (3), Talladega (1), Tallapoosa (1), Tuscaloosa (9), Walker (3) and Washington (1).

There are still no deaths related to the coronavirus in the state.

“We had three residents who were showing signs of the virus and symptoms of the coronavirus," said Extendicare’s Chief Nursing Officer Nathan Chase. “Three nasopharyngeal swabs were sent to a state lab for testing, one came back positive for the virus, and the other two testing are still pending.”

Chase said all three residents were placed in isolation protocol when their signs and symptoms were first noticed. When the residents’ illness gave the facility suspicion of the virus, the isolation was increased from a standard surgical mask to the N-95 mask for added protection.

ADPH has activated a statewide informational hotline and a general information email address to field questions from the public about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation. This phone number is 888-264-2256. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Monday, March 23, 2:45 p.m.

Dothan now has two confirmed cases

A second person has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dothan with Extendicare Health and Rehabilitation confirming Monday that one of its residents tested positive. The healthcare facility also said coronavirus test results from two other patients are still pending.

“We had three residents who were showing signs of the virus and symptoms of the coronavirus," said Chief Nursing Officer Nathan Chase. “Three nasopharyngeal swabs were sent to a state lab for testing, one came back positive for the virus, and the other two testing are still pending.”

Chase said all three residents were placed in isolation protocol when their signs and symptoms were first noticed. When the residents’ illness gave the facility suspicion of the virus ,the isolation was increased from a standard surgical mask to the N-95 mask for added protection.

Last week, a patient at Southeast Health tested positive. However, since the first patient was from Georgia, it was not recorded in the officials state cases by the Alabama Department of Public Health's tracking system because the illness did not originate in Houston County.

Chase said Extendicare is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“When it was mandated we stop having visitors, we did,” Chase said.

Chase said the facility is maintaining standard infection control best practices. Staff members who interacted with the patient prior to the diagnosis are also following CDC guidelines.

For the latest information available on the coronavirus visit https://www.dothaneagle.com/coronavirus.

Updated: Monday, March 23, 11:15 a.m.

Confirmed Alabama cases rise to 167 

The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Alabama increased by 10 overnight to 167, with Jefferson County reporting 79 cases, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced this morning.

Three other counties – Lee, Madison and Shelby – all have 17 positive cases.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a ADPH county breakdown as of early Monday morning: Baldwin (2), Calhoun (1), Chambers (2), Cullman (2), Elmore (6), Jackson (1), Jefferson (79), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (2), Lee (17), Limestone (1), Madison (17), Marion (1), Mobile (2), Montgomery (3), Shelby (17), St. Clair (3), Talladega (1), Tuscaloosa (7), Walker (1) and Washington (1).

There are still no reported deaths related to the virus in the state.

Although the first confirmed case in the Wiregrass was reported in Dothan by Southeast Health and ADPH last week, Houston County is not listed in the ADPH’s county breakdown. The update still shows no positive tests reported in the Wiregrass. Houston County's confirmed case is an out-of-state resident, and ADPH does not lists positive tests that do not originate in the county.

The state health officer has issued orders prohibiting on-site restaurant dining and non-work gatherings of more than 25 people that cannot maintain a consistent 6-foot distance between people.

Updated: Monday, March 23, 11 a.m.

Gov. Ivey delays state tax filings

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Revenue announced today that the state income tax filing due date is extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer state income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers.

“This morning, I signed a supplemental State of Emergency order to allow the Alabama Department of Revenue to extend state filings until July 15, 2020,” said Ivey. “It is imperative we reduce the burden upon Alabamians and get folks back on their feet financially. The safety and wellbeing of Alabamians is the paramount priority as we do everything within our power to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.”

Other taxes included in the deadline extension are corporate income tax, the Financial Institution Excise Tax (FIET), and the Business Privilege Tax (BPT).

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the Alabama Department of Revenue to qualify for this automatic state tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request a filing extension through the usual methods.

“Even considering the extended filing deadline, we urge taxpayers who are owed refunds to file as soon as possible and file electronically,” said Revenue Commissioner Vernon Barnett. “Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds. Although the department is practicing prudent working conditions with our staff during this period, we will continue with mission-critical operations to support Alabama’s citizens. We ask for your support, understanding and patience.”

 

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