COVID-19

This 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.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 3:19 p.m.

Southeast Health cancels elective surgeries starting Friday

Southeast Health CEO Rick Sutton said that beginning Friday, the Dothan hospital will cancel all elective surgeries and procedures. This does not affect emergency and urgent procedures, Sutton said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

As of Wednesday, the hospital is taking a healthy-only approach for visitors and is limiting one visitor per patient and that visitor must remain in the patient’s room.

Sutton said the hospital also plans to keep employees whole as far as pay should they have to be quarantined.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 1:35 p.m.

First confirmed case reported in Dothan

The first confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported in Dothan, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced via a news release Wednesday afternoon.

The release stated: Southeast Health announced this morning that the hospital is caring for a patient who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID19). The hospital’s physicians and team members report that the patient is in good condition and has been isolated to reduce the risk of exposure to other patients and staff.

Southeast Health is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and is also following and maintaining standard infection control best practices. Staff who have interacted with the patient prior to this diagnosis are following CDC guidelines.

Southeast Health has been in contact with state and county public health authorities and will continue to provide updates and information to them.

“The safety of our patients, their families, our employees and our physicians is a top priority, and as the coronavirus – COVID19 – has spread throughout the nation, we have been working to educate and inform our team members, as well as the public,” said Southeast Health CEO Rick Sutton.

“We have been preparing to take care of COVID19 patients for the past few weeks, by implementing the protocols and standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH),” Sutton added.

To learn more about the hospital’s response and the safety measures in place visit: https://www.southeasthealth.org/coronavirus.

Earlier today, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced the state had 46 confirmed cases statewide. At that time, there were no confirmed cases from the Wiregrass area.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 1:10 p.m.

Enterprise NARFE program canceled

The Enterprise Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) has canceled its lunch program for March 26 at PoFolks Restaurant in Enterprise.

The cancellation is due to the coronavirus and to comply with health recommendations for no more than 10 people to meet at gatherings.

NARFE is open to all federal employees, active or retired, to attend the lunch programs regularly scheduled at 11 a.m. every fourth Thursday of the month at PoFolks Restaurant in Enterprise.

Enterprise NARFE members who have concerns or questions about the coronavirus; need special help with groceries, transportation, or other health-related conditions; or have suggestions about helping others, may contact Lee O’Berry, 334-393-0492.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 10:30 a.m.

Cases now at 46; runoff set for July 14

MONTGOMERY — Alabama's total number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has increased to 46 Wednesday morning, the Alabama Department of Public Health announce this morning.

Additionally, Gov. Kay Ivey has re-scheduled the primary runoff election to Tuesday, July 14.

As of the ADPH update, there are still no positive tests reported in the Wiregrass area.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a county breakdown from ADPH: Baldwin (1), Calhoun (1), Elmore (2), Lee (7), Jefferson (23), Limestone (1), Madison (1), Montgomery (2), Shelby (4), St. Clair (1), Tuscaloosa (3).

On Tuesday, officials ordered the closure of day care and senior centers in six counties near the center of the the state's coronavirus outbreak and told restaurants in those counties to end on-site dining for the next week.

The order from the Alabama Department of Public Health applies to Jefferson County, which has the highest number of cases, and the surrounding counties of Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Shelby. 

Private schools, day care centers and preschools serving more than 12 students in those six counties should close from Wednesday until April 6, the state said. Restaurants in those counties can offer take-out and delivery but not on-site dining for the next week.

The state also ordered nursing homes to limit visitation in those counties except for extraordinary situations such as when a person is dying. State health officials said gatherings of 25 or more people are prohibited in the six counties where a 6-foot (1.8-meter) distance cannot be maintained.

The directive marks a significant increase in the number of closures ordered by the state.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 10:25 a.m.

Hawk-Houston events canceled

The Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center has canceled upcoming events due to recommendations to avoid large gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis.

The center’s Pennies from Heaven Open House and Community Breakfast planned for March 28 and the annual meeting and recognition banquet set for April 9 will not be held.

For more information, call 334-792-4618.

Blue Plate offers delivery

The Blue Plate restaurant has adopted a new family meal menu and will be offering delivery within Dothan city limits on orders placed from the menu before 4 p.m.

The new family meal menu allows customers to pick out their own choice of entrée and two sides with bread, tea and the dessert of the day included. If family meal orders are placed prior to 4 p.m., customers who live in Dothan will have the option for delivery. Family meals have a set menu and cost $20 plus tax for two people and $40 plus tax for four people.

Like many eateries, the Dothan restaurant has adjusted its operating hours and general practices to protect its staff and customers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. For those social distancing, Blue Plate has also added curbside pickup on to-go orders. Customers simply need to let the restaurant know they’d prefer curbside and provide the model and color of their vehicle. Customers can also pay for their order over the phone with a credit card.

New temporary hours are being implemented at both Blue Plate locations to allow for more thorough cleaning throughout the restaurants each evening.

The restaurant’s west side location near Flowers Hospital will remain closed on Saturdays, but will now open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday. The south side location on Ross Clark Circle will be open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. These hours will be in effect until further notice.

Eufaula Pilgrimage canceled

The 55th annual Eufaula Pilgrimage and Tour of Homes planned for April 3-5 has been canceled.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 9:40 a.m.

Ozark free lunches

The City of Ozark is implementing the USDA summer lunch program through its Leisure Services Department to feed children 18 years or younger.

To-go meals will be prepared and handed out at the Senior Center at 390 Carroll Avenue.

This free lunch service will begin on Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 and Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 8:25 a.m.

Confirmed cases at 39

MONTGOMERY — Alabama's total number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases remains at 39 Wednesday morning, and no positive tests have been reported in the Wiregrass area.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County still leads all counties in reported cases. Here is a county breakdown from ADPH: Baldwin (1), Elmore (2), Lee (3), Jefferson (21), Limestone (1), Madison (1), Montgomery (2), Shelby (4), St. Clair (1), Tuscaloosa (3).

On Tuesday, officials ordered the closure of day care and senior centers in six counties near the center of the the state's coronavirus outbreak and told restaurants in those counties to end on-site dining for the next week.

The order from the Alabama Department of Public Health applies to Jefferson County, which has the highest number of cases, and the surrounding counties of Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and Shelby. 

Private schools, day care centers and preschools serving more than 12 students in those six counties should close from Wednesday until April 6, the state said. Restaurants in those counties can offer take-out and delivery but not on-site dining for the next week.

The state also ordered nursing homes to limit visitation in those counties except for extraordinary situations such as when a person is dying. State health officials said gatherings of 25 or more people are prohibited in the six counties where a 6-foot (1.8-meter) distance cannot be maintained.

The directive marks a significant increase in the number of closures ordered by the state.

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