• 81°

COVID-19: Marengo County cases up to 45; Governor issues ‘Safer At Home’ order

A third Marengo County resident has died from COVID-19 and the total number of positive cases has increased to 45, according to a Wednesday update by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Over the course of a week, the number of positive cases increased by 15, from the 30 reported last Tuesday. The ADPH reports that a total of 405 tests have been conducted inside the county as of Tuesday morning.

Additional testing is now available in Marengo County as the health department in Linden is offering tests April 30 and May 7 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Those testing at the MCHD must pre-register for an appointment and a physician referral is preferred.

To be tested, individuals must be 10 years old or older and meet the following criteria: The patient is symptomatic with at a minimum (measured or subjective).

• Fever or cough or shortness of breath, and

• Immunocompromised or have co-morbidities, or

• Age 65 years or older, or

• Healthcare worker, or

• Associated with a long-term healthcare facility, or

• Symptoms are moderate, severe or worsening.

According to the health department, testing is not recommended for those with no symptoms. Those who experience mild symptoms and do not fall into one of the above high-risk groups, should self-isolate at home and call 1-888-264-2256 if symptoms worsen.

Additional testing will continued so long as there is demonstrated community need.

In surrounding counties: Sumter County has reported 56 cases and two deaths; Wilcox County has 62 cases and one death; Greene County has 49 cases, one death; Hale County has 42 and two deaths; Dallas County is reporting 37 cases with three deaths; Choctaw County has 39 cases and no deaths; and Perry County is reporting nine cases with no deaths.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey announced that effective April 30, the state’s Stay At Home order would be be replaced by a Safer At Home order. The new guidelines is “encouraging individuals to stay home and follow good sanitation practices.” The previous order required people to stay at home except to meet basic needs.

The Safer At Home order also allows for businesses to open subject to sanitation and social distancing guidelines with certain high-risk businesses and activities to remain closed.

Retail businesses may also open but only allow 50 percent of its occupancy rate and people must maintain a separation of 6 feet. Beaches will also open to gatherings of no more than 10 people and maintaining separation of 6 feet. Medical procedures will be allowed under the new order.

The new order maintains that no more than 10 people gather. Senior citizen centers, schools, athletic facilities, entertainment venues and close-contact service providers are to remain closed.

Restaurants, bars and breweries will still be limited to take-out and curbside service.