As Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order Friday, the number of COVID-19-related deaths increased statewide, including two more reported by Dothan’s Southeast Health late Friday.
A hospital representative confirmed the deaths reported with other coronavirus data on its website, raising the number of deaths at the health-care facility to three. No other details were released.
Additionally, the overall confirmed cases in the Wiregrass climbed, with area counties reporting new cases, including Henry and Barbour, which state health officials previously said had no reported positive cases.
The Alabama Department of Public Health said there have been 39 reported deaths of people who testing positive for COVID-19. The state has confirmed 21 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 deaths reported by Southeast Health are the only fatal cases in the Wiregrass.
When Ivey announced her order, which is effective at 5 p.m. Saturday, she referred to the growing number of positive tests and deaths as factors.
On Friday, Henry County Health and Rehabilitation Administrator Chuck Houston said the facility received its first positive test for a resident. Earlier this week, Houston said a worker at the rehab center tested positive.
ADPH now reports Henry County with two cases and Barbour County with one, leaving Geneva and Perry counties as the only ones in the state that have reported no positive coronavirus cases.
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.
The other Wiregrass counties with positive test results are Houston, 12; Dale, one; Coffee, six; Pike, 10; and Covington, four.
An ADPH testing site set up at the Houston County Farm Center continued to perform limiting tests Friday to ease the number of tests being performed at area medical facilities.
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 health-care worker or a person with health conditions that puts him or her at a higher risk. The risk factors include diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer or other conditions that weaken immune systems. A physician referral is not needed, but it is beneficial for the process.
Dothan’s two hospitals reported a combined 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases after performing 256 tests, according to the local Joint Information Center and the updated Southeast Health report.
Southeast Health reports 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 10 confirmed inpatients who have been discharged, 13 current inpatients who tested positive, 47 tests pending (including 19 inpatients awaiting results), and 102 negative results. A total of 181 tests have been performed by the medical center.
Dothan’s Flowers Hospital reports it had three confirmed positive cases and six test results pending. The hospital has performed 75 tests.
The two health-care facilities provide different statistical numbers to the JIC, which is coordinating the distribution of coronavirus information for Dothan and Houston County. The JIC distributes new information on test results on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, the ADPH reported that 1,529 confirmed cases had been documented, with 9,601 tests performed. The counties with the most cases are Jefferson, 364; Madison, 123; Shelby, 115; Mobile, 103; Lee, 99; Chambers, 81; Montgomery, 61; Walker, 48; and Tuscaloosa, 41.