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: 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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