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COVID-19 latest: Opelika recycle spots to reopen; Auburn summer rec program guide ready

COVID-19 latest: Opelika recycle spots to reopen; Auburn summer rec program guide ready

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This a running update compiled by the Opelika-Auburn News concerning news and advisories related to the coronavirus locally, nationally and worldwide.

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Opelika recycling centers to reopen for business

Updated Friday, May 29, 11:11 a.m.

Opelika will reopen its recycling centers next week.

The Jeter Avenue Recycling Center on Monday and the 8th Avenue Recycling Center on Tuesday.

Operational days and hours will remain the same:

Jeter Avenue – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

8th Avenue – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

These centers are available to the public free of charge. Opelika also offers curbside pickup for $10 a month. New curbside customers will receive the first two months free.

For more information, contact Opelika Environmental at 334-705-5480. For guidelines, visit https://www.opelika-al.gov/739/Recycling-Centers.

Opelika Power to resume late fees, disconnections

Updated Thursday, May 28, 10:42 a.m.

Opelika Power Services (OPS) will resume adding late and nonpayment fees to bills that are due on or after June 10.

Each bill due after June 10 will have the delinquent date and nonpayment date listed on the bill (there are four due dates during each month). All past due amounts will need to be paid by the delinquent date to avoid late fees.

Payment must be received by the nonpayment date to avoid disconnection. Anyone who needs to make additional arrangements should call (334) 705-5170.

The OPS lobby will remain closed for now, but should be opening soon. The drive-thru window is still open each business day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Paying at www.opelikapower.com or signing up for bank draft with a customer service representative or online will ensure bills are paid on time each month. Accounts will not be drafted until the last day before the delinquent date shown on the bill.

Auburn revises Parks and Rec summer program guide

Updated Wednesday, May 27, 4:55 p.m.

The 2020 Auburn Parks and Recreation modified summer brochure is available online and in print at the Harris Center. Summer registration will begin Monday, June 1. Registration is in person Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Harris Center located at 425 Perry St.

Visit auburnalabama.org/parks/summer2020 to view the online version of the brochure. Parks and Recreation will continue to add programs, classes and pop-up day camps as restrictions are lifted. Be sure to check this page for additional programs throughout the summer.

For more information, email Ann Bergman at abergman@auburnalabama.org or call (334) 501-2930.

Auburn reopens athletic fields, courts

Update: Friday, May 22, 1:40 p.m.

The city of Auburn announced Friday morning that it will reopen it's athletic fields and courts Friday at 5 p.m. 

Felton Little Park, Margie Piper Bailey Field, Duck Samford Soccer Fields and Duck Samford Baseball Fields 1-3 will be open every day until sundown.

Duck Samford Baseball Fields 4-7 will be open and available on the weekends, beginning Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to make a reservation for an athletic field can do so beginning May 26: reservation applications

The city said in its release that it hopes to announce a plan for summer and fall youth sports programs soon.

Although basketball courts will be open at Frank Brown Recreation Center, they will be closed while fitness classes are held to help abide by social distancing. 

Playgrounds will also re-open to the public Friday at 5 p.m. 

Finally, all tennis courts for singles and doubles will open at the Yarbrough Tennis Center and Samford Tennis Courts. Pickleball will also open at the Samford Tennis Courts. 

All water fountains will be off, however. 

Opelika

Update: Friday, May 22, 1:11 p.m.

The city of Opelika is making changes based on Gov. Kay Ivey’s amended Safer-at-Home order with the most changes taking place primarily in the Parks and Recreation department.

“I am pleased with Governor Ivey’s announcement yesterday,” Mayor Gary Fuller said. “Our youth can now begin practicing sports and doing the things kids do – getting outside, exercising, playing ball, having fun and being with friends. Our adults can enjoy our rec centers again. And while we must still be cautious, more businesses are able to open their doors and begin serving our community.

“Please continue to support our local businesses and restaurants and practice social distancing as you get out and about. I’m proud of our community and am glad to see things moving in the right direction.”

Important Things to Know About Opelika Parks and Recreation: 

Programs/Events that ARE happening:

  • Summer Swing Fun Run- No registration, drinks, finish line procedures or food. However, there will be an informal free run every Tuesday, June 2 - July 28
  • Pottery Studio is opening on May 27 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Line Dancing will begin June 4 with social distancing guidelines in place. 

Programs/Events that are NOT happening:

  • Day Camp- social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Ballroom Dancing- social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Baton – social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • June Summer Swing Concerts- social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Summer Movie in the Park- social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Float-In Movie- social distancing cannot be maintained. 
  • Splash Bash Summer Games – Splash Park is closed.

Sports that ARE happening

  • T-Ball- Registration will be from May 26 – June 2
  • Dixie Boys Baseball - Registration will be from May 26 – June 2
  • Girls Softball - Registration will be from May 26- June 2
  • Tumbling - Limited classes and class sizes with no hands-on coaching. Entirely skill based. Registration begins May 26.
  • Opelika Crush Training June 22 - July 31
  • Karate - Registration and session dates TBD.

Sports that are NOT happening:

  • Adult Soccer 

Opelika SportsPlex:

  • Lap Swimming will begin May 26. Sign-ups will be online via Sign-up Genius. Eight lanes will be open for swimming. Time slots are 30 minutes long and will have 10-minute breaks in between to accommodate traffic flow and cleaning schedules. 
  • Basketball Courts are still closed.
  • Fitness Classes are continuing. 
  • The Splash Park is closed.
  • Tot Watch is still closed.
  • Racquetball Courts are still closed. 
  • No reservations will be taken during the month of June.
  • Steam rooms, locker rooms and showers are still closed.

Parks:

  • Playgrounds are now open.
  • No reservations will be taken during the month of June.

For more information on Parks and Recreation, contact Laura Leigh Chesser at 334.705.5567. For information about the City of Opelika, contact Leigh G. Krehling at 334.705.5136.

Safer at Home

Update: Thursday, May 21, 2:04 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey issued an amended Safer-at-Home order Thursday, which allows entertainment venues; schools and child care facilities to open with restrictions.

The new order also allows athletic activities, such as youth and adult sports, to resume and summer camps to open with restrictions.

The order goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m. and expires on July 3 at 5 p.m.

Childcare facilities were previously held to a maximum amount of children allowed to be at the facility. The amended order has no such limit but does require facilities to practice social distancing, use high sanitation practices and have employees wear masks or facial coverings.

Athletic activities may begin at 5 p.m. Friday. However, until June 14, participation in team athletic activities is limited to practices that involve conditioning, skill drills and similar activities. Participation in team athletic activities may begin, subject to rules, may begin June 15, according to the order.

Athletic activities must comply with the following rules under the order: 

  • Players, coaches, officials and spectators may not congregate within 6 feet of a person from another household except to the extent necessary – an only to the extent necessary – for players, coaches and officials to directly participate in the athletic activity.
  • Players, coaches, officials and spectators cannot high five, shake hands or make other physical contact except to the extent necessary – any only to the extent necessary – for players, coaches and officials to directly participate in the athletic activity.
  • Players, coaches and officials must wear a mask or other facial covering at all times except when a player or official is directly participating in the athletic activity.
  • Players, coaches and officials cannot share water coolers, drinking stations, water bottles, cups or other drinking devices. Organizers of athletic activities must take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.

Venues such as bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing centers, tourist attractions, race tracks, commercial or public playgrounds, adult entertainment venues, casinos and bingo halls are allowed to open under the amended order.

Entertainment venues must comply with the following rules under the order:

  • Employees may not knowingly allow patrons or guests to congregate within six feet of a person from another household.
  • Employees must take reasonable steps to prevent people from congregating in lobby areas, break rooms and other common areas.
  • Indoor and enclosed entertainment venues must limit occupancy to 50 percent of the normal occupancy load.
  • Outdoor venues or those not assigned a normal occupancy load must limit occupancy as required to comply with the distancing requirements.
  • Each employee must wear a mask or other facial covering at all times while in regular interaction with clients or guests.
  • The venue must take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces. 

All schools, including elementary, secondary, postsecondary, technical, specialty schools and colleges and universities, may open June 1, with restrictions, according to the order. 

Schools must comply with the following rules under the order:

  • Schools must take reasonable steps, where practicable, to maintain six feet of separation between persons of different households.
  • Schools must take reasonable steps, where practicable, to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
  • Employees must, to the greatest extent practicable, wear a mask or other facial covering at all times when in regular interaction within six feet of a person from a different household.

Day and overnight youth summer camps may begin May 23 under the new order, but they must comply with the following rules:

  • Employees may not knowingly allow campers or guests to congregate within six feet of a person from another household.
  • Camps must take reasonable steps to regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
  • Employees must, to the greatest extent possible, wear a mask or face covering at all time when in regular interaction with campers or guests.

Ivey

Update: Thursday, May 21, 12:03 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey and state health officer Dr. Scott Harris are holding a joint news conference today at 2 p.m.

The news conference will provide further updates on COVID-19.

The news conference will be live-streamed on Ivey's Facebook page.

Alabama's 'Safer-at-Home' order is set to expire tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Opelika stores

Update: Tuesday, May 19, 11:13 a.m.

Opelika’s mayor is amending an executive order which limits the number of customers in retail and grocery stores within the city limits.

Mayor Gary Fuller amended Executive Order 01-20 to increase the capacity of retail and grocery stores to 50 percent of the state fire capacity, the city announced Tuesday.

The 50 percent capacity limit doesn’t apply to employees. Stores are still required to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store, the order states.

The change is effective 7 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, and will remain in effect until rescinded by Mayoral Order.

Auburn parks

Update: Monday, May 18, 12:23 p.m.

The Auburn/Opelika Skate Park and the Yarbrough Tennis Center are now open to the public.

Patrons of the Auburn/Opelika Skate Park must practice social distancing and not share equipment. The Samford Avenue Tennis Courts remain closed.

The Yarbrough Tennis Center has more detailed to guidelines in regards to reopening. The hours of the tennis center will be 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The following are new guidelines that relate to the reopening:

  • A maximum of two players are allowed on each outdoor court. Singles play or one to one coaching is permitted. Play will only be allowed/reserved on every other court.
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet is to be maintained by everyone present at the tennis center. The check-in process at the desk will be done with minimum interaction. Players are encouraged to wear masks coming in and out of the tennis center. Credit cards are preferred for any payments, and all reservations should be made by phone at 334-501-2920.
  • Each player is to have their own tennis balls for serving. No shared balls/equipment are allowed. Tennis balls may be purchased at the tennis center.
  • There will be no coolers with water placed on the courts. Players need to bring their own water or a container to fill at the touch-free filling station.
  • The bathrooms at the tennis center are open and will be cleaned frequently. The showers at the tennis center will remain closed.
  • Plans to restart City of Auburn clinics are being developed. Players/parents will be notified when these clinics are set to restart. The May summer camp for kids is canceled, and July summer camps are being evaluated.
  • Private lessons may be provided at YTC within the parameters noted above. Tennis pros will contact individual players when they are ready to provide lessons again.
  • The indoor courts are closed to the public until further notice. Indoor-only memberships will be honored on the outdoor courts.

Additional City of Auburn information related to COVID-19 is available at auburnalabama.org/coronavirus.

The staff at YTC is working to be flexible and provide the best possible service to our community during this difficult period. Thanks for your understanding.

Auburn to reopen offices, public spaces June 1

Update: Friday, May 15, 1:20 p.m.

City of Auburn officials announced Friday that they are working on a phased plan to reopen all city facilities by June 1.

This plan will include guidelines to ensure the safety of all city employees and visitors. As of now, city facilities will remain closed to the public. Details on the phased reopening will be announced in the coming days.

City staff will continue to serve residents through all electronic means possible including online applications, email, social media and phone.

Those with an immediate need that cannot be handled electronically can contact the helpline at 334-501-7307 where staff will work to individually meet needs.

To keep up with the latest updates regarding COVID-19, visit auburnalabama.org/coronavirus and sign up for eNotifier, the City's email and text notification system.

Auburn Parks and Rec to offer wellness checks 

Update: Thursday, May 14, 3:00 p.m.

Auburn Parks and Recreation shared this week that they will begin offering well-ness checks to citizens over 50. The department said in its Facebook post that self-isolation is difficult on many and the department wants to offer check-ins. 

Any residents who want to be added to the list should contact Gabby Filgo at gfilgo@auburnalabama.org or call 334-501-2946. 

Opelika buildings

Update: Wednesday, May 13, 10:54 a.m.

The city of Opelika will open all its building on Monday, May 18, city officials announced Wednesday.

“We are pleased to be opening our city buildings to the public and we plan to take necessary precautions to protect our employees and citizens. We have developed protocol for each building and ask that you please follow these guidelines when you visit,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.

The city has put the guidelines below in place and will continue these until further notice.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL BUILDINGS:

  • Citizens are encouraged to continue conducting business online, by phone or email if possible.
  • City employees will practice 6-foot social distancing at all times with fellow employees and visitors.
  • Visitors are asked to wear a mask when entering city buildings.
  • Employees will wear a mask when interacting with the public. If working with money or paperwork, employees will wear gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in all city buildings. Visitors are asked to use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving city buildings.
  • City buildings will be sanitized daily.
  • Employees and visitors are asked to stay home if they feel sick.
  • All lobby floors open to the public will be marked to allow for 6-foot social distancing.

ACCOUNTING AND HUMAN RESOURCES: As of Monday, May 18, both of these departments will be located at 608 Avenue A. The lobby will be open. An employee will escort visitors back for meeting if necessary.

PURCHASING/REVENUE (CITY HALL): Visitors should enter City Hall through the 7th Street entrance and exit at Avenue A.

OPELIKA POWER SERVICES: The lobby will not reopen at this time. OPS will continue operating by drive-through window, phone and online until further notice.

MUNICIPAL COURT AND PROBATION: Court will resume on May 20 with a limited capacity. Only defendants and witnesses will be allowed in the courtroom in order to maintain social distancing. No additional family members will be allowed.

PUBLIC WORKS/PLANNING/BUILDING INSPECTION/ENGINEERING: Lobby will be open from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Restrooms will not be open to the public. Once visitors enter they will need to call the office they would like to visit. A city employee will escort visitor to that office. There will be a sign with phone numbers in the lobby area.

OPELIKA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The lobby will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

OPELIKA FIRE DEPARTMENT: Lobby hours for all firehouses will be 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

OPELIKA ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES: OES lobby will not reopen at this time. If you would like to sign up for garbage or curbside recycling, please call Opelika Power Services at 334.705.5170. If you have questions or concerns about garbage or recycling, call 334.705.5480.

RECYCLING CENTERS & CURBSIDE RECYCLING: Recycling centers will remain closed until further notice. Once our upstream processors are back in full operation, recycling centers will reopen. We will continue to pick up Curbside Recycling since our vendor Pratt Industries is in full operation.

LEWIS COOPER JR. MEMORIAL LIBRARY: The library will continue to operate with the following restrictions and limitations in place.

Library Hours: 

  • Monday - Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Closed on Sunday

Limited Services Include: 

  • One Entrance: The Avenue A door by the fountain is the only entrance open. 
  • Total number of patrons in the building is limited to 30 people. 
  • Computer Lab is limited to 5 people with 20 minutes of use, non-renewable. 
  • Children’s Room is limited to 5 people at a time. 
  • Genealogy Room is closed. 
  • Reference Room and Quiet Study Space is closed. 
  • Newspapers unavailable
  • No meeting space or study space available 
  • No programs or special events 
  • Printing, Faxing, and Notary Service are available, but 6’ distance must be maintained during all transactions. (Call ahead to verify Notary Service is currently available: 334-705-5380) 
  • Curbside pickup service is available. Place your holds online at www.cooperlibrary.com -> Books, Movies, & More or call 334-705-5380 to request items. Call 334-705-5380 when you arrive and we will bring items out to you. 

PARKS & RECREATION: Opelika Sportsplex is now reopen with normal hours. Activities are restricted to weight room, cardio equipment and the indoor track. Denson Rec Center will remain closed until further notice. Covington Rec Center is closed for construction. All basketball, soccer and baseball fields remain closed due to these being close contact sports.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING – MAY 19: City council will be open to the public beginning May 19. We will monitor capacity in order to maintain social distancing and occupancy rates. There will be no citizen communications. We encourage you to watch from your home via the city’s YouTube Channel, OpelikaCityGov. A direct link to the city YouTube Channel can be found at www.opelika-al.gov. Should you have comments or concerns you’d like to share with the council, please email them to Russell Jones, City Clerk, at rjones@opelika-al.gov.

Auburn City Market returns May 30

Update: Wednesday, May 13, 9:52 a.m.

City Market will return to Town Creek Park on Saturdays from 8-11 a.m., beginning May 30 and running through Aug. 29 (except July 4), according to a press release from the city of Auburn.

Parking will be available for all market attendees in the gravel parking lot across from Town Creek Park. All market visitors must maintain a minimum of 6 feet between one another. All vendors will follow the state sanitation guidelines regarding farmers markets, including:

* Food samples will not be served, and cooking demonstrations will not be allowed.

* Vendors will maintain a 10-foot distance from one another.

* All vendors will wear food-safe serving gloves and will designate one worker to handle payment.

* We recommend that vendors wear face masks.

* All available products will be prepackaged.

To allow the maximum number of community members to visit the market, loitering and social gatherings will not be permitted at the market. Shoppers are asked to make their purchases and promptly exit the parking lot for others to easily access parking spots. Animals will not be allowed to attend the market. High-risk community members and those feeling ill should not attend the market. Mask are not required but encouraged.

EAMC

Update: Tuesday, May 12, 4:45 p.m.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are back on the rise at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) after nine straight days of decline.

The hospital saw two straight days of increased hospitalizations due to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

There are 34 patients hospitalized between EAMC and EAMC-Lanier, the most since May 7 when there were 36 patients hospitalized, according to hospital data.

Additionally, there are five patients requiring ventilation due to COVID-19, EAMC said.

The increase in hospitalizations comes about 10 days after retail stores and beaches reopened in Alabama once Gov. Kay Ivey’s Stay-at-Home order expired and a Safer-at-Home order was put in its place.

Flyover

Update: Monday, May 11, 5:37 p.m.

The Air Force Reserves will salute Alabama’s frontline heroes Tuesday by flying over 10 Alabama cities, including one in Lee County.

The 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery will conduct a flyover of East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) on Tuesday between 1:25 – 1:35 p.m., the hospital announced Monday. 

“We wanted to show our support for all of the great Alabamians doing everything they can in this fight against COVID-19,” said Col. Craig Drescher, commander of the 908th Airlift Wing. “We continue to hear all these amazing stories of people stepping up and going above and beyond their civic duty and we wanted to find a way to say thank you.”

Two C-130 Hercules aircrafts from the wing will flyover 10 cities throughout the state Tuesday, the 908th Airlift Wing said.

The planes will also fly over Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Decatur, Huntsville, Birmingham, Troy and Selma.

Opelika will reopen SportsPlex

Update: Friday, May 8, 3:12 p.m.

The Opelika SportsPlex will be resuming normal hours on Monday, May 11. Activities will be restricted to weight room, cardio equipment and the indoor track, according to a city press release.

 Key changes to normal operations include:

* Locker rooms and showers will not be open.

* All patrons are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

* All patrons will be asked to use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the SportsPlex.

* All equipment and machines will be spaced 6 feet apart.

* Patrons are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and avoid the use of water fountains.

* Staff will conduct regular cleaning and sanitizing of all equipment and high touch areas.

Mayor Fuller

Update: Friday, May 8, 12:08 p.m.

Opelika's mayor said he is pleased with Gov. Kay Ivey's amended Safer at Home order.

"I know that our businesses look forward to opening and serving our community," Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said.

Fuller asks that the community continue to follow the CDC's and Alabama Department of Public Health's guidelines.

"Practice social distancing of 6 feet, maintain good hygiene and stay at home if you can," Fuller said. "Let’s do this right so we can continue to see things open and life bet back to normal. We’re in this together. I want to thank you for doing your part in the fight against COVID-19."

Opelika High

Update: Friday, May 8, 11:13 a.m.

Opelika High School is set to hold a private graduation ceremony for the school’s class of 2020, Opelika City Schools announced Friday.

The ceremony will be held in multiple sessions on May 22 in Bulldog Stadium.

“We have worked hard to develop a graduation plan that will celebrate our seniors while keeping the current health guidelines in place,” Mark Neighbors, Opelika City Schools superintendent, said. “It is focused on social distancing and limiting the number of guests participating at any certain time.”

There will be six sessions with 50 seniors per session to maintain social distancing guidelines. Each graduating senior and up to nine family members will be allowed to process through the ceremony, Opelika City School said.

Seniors will receive their diploma on stage as family embers watch from the end zone. Each family group will then exit the stadium.

Sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and will go until 3 p.m.

The ceremony will not be open to the public and there will be no seating available at the stadium, the school system said.

However, the ceremony will be live-streamed through a link that will be posted on the Opelika City School website.

“We hope this event will be a meaningful experience to the members of the OHS Class of 2020,” Dr. Farrell Seymore, Opelika High School Principal, said. “They are an outstanding group of students and deserve to be celebrated.”

Safer-at-Home

Update: Friday, May 8, 11:06 a.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey is expanding the state’s Safer-at-Home order and is adding to the list of businesses that are able to open under the order.

The order remains in effect until May 22, one week longer than the current “Safer-at-Home” order. The current “Safer-at-Home” order was set to expire on May 15.

Restaurants, bars and breweries are able to open beginning May 11. These businesses may open with limited table seating and there must be 6-feet between tables. The businesses are subject to additional sanitation rules and guidelines.

Athletic facilities, such as fitness centers and gyms, are also able to open beginning May 11. They are subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines. However, specified athletic activities are still not allowed.

Close-contact service providers, such as barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo services, are able to open May 11 under the Safer-at-Home order and are subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines.

Although already open, there are no limits on gatherings on Alabama’s beaches. Six-feet of separation, however, must be maintained.

Additionally, all non-work related gatherings of any size are allowed. However, six-foot distance between persons from different households must be maintained in order for the gathering to take place. 

Organizers of religious gathers are encouraged to read an implement the Alabama Department of Public Health's "Guidelines for Places of Worship."

Ivey

Update: Friday, May 8, 9:50 a.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey is set to hold a news conference with state health officer Dr. Scott Harris at 11 a.m. Friday.

The news conference will be streamed live on Ivey's Facebook page

Show support for Downtown Opelika on your chest

Update: Tuesday, May 5, 11:20 a.m.

Opelika Main Street has launched a Keep Opelika On Track t-shirt to help assist our downtown merchants during this time.

The shirts, made locally by Victory Designs, are $20 each with $12 going directly to Opelika Main Street’s downtown member restaurants, entertainment venues and retail shops.

“This is a great way for us to get much needed dollars into the hands of our small businesses,” said Opelika Main Street Executive Director Ken Ward. “We hope this will be a way for the Opelika and Lee County community to show their support for our great local businesses during this unprecedented time.”

The shirts feature the Lee County Courthouse, a downtown Opelika landmark and historic site. Shirts can be purchased online at opelikamainstreet.org and will be available for pickup or delivery.

Dixie World Series called off

Update: Tuesday, May 5, 11:15 a.m.

Dixie Youth Baseball Commissioner William Wade sent this statement to the Opelika-Auburn News this morning:

“Last night we made a very hard decision regarding the 2020 Dixie Youth Baseball season. For the first time in our 64-year history, the National Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2020 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series tournaments.

“With all of the uncertainty and disruption that the COVID-19 virus has caused across our country, we did not feel that attempting to play a world series would be the prudent thing to do. The health and well-being of all of the participants, parents and fans outweigh the value of series play.

“Hopefully by removing the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series from our postseason schedule, the states and leagues that are cleared to begin activities can have substantial regular season play, which is the foundation of Dixie Youth Baseball.

“We encourage all leagues to follow guidance from the federal, state and local governments and the CDC as they make plans to play this season. “

Stay safe,

William Wade

Commissioner

Auburn changes Memorial Day plans

Update: Monday, May 4, 3:25 p.m.

Auburn’s annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Breakfast has been postponed. Instead, the public is invited to watch a livestreamed Memorial Day ceremony honoring the U.S. military and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The ceremony will be held on Monday, May 25, at 9 a.m. and will be livestreamed on Facebook, facebook.com/CityofAuburnAL, and YouTube, youtube.com/CityofAuburnAL.

Mayor Ron Anders will deliver remarks. He will be joined by Lisa Tabor, who will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Nathan Landers who will play “Taps” on the bugle. The ceremony will conclude with a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace” by Dan Drummond.

The city plans to hold a breakfast on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, honoring this year’s Distinguished Veteran Lt. Col. James Witte, U.S. Army, and the Hero Remembered Col. Gregory S. Townsend, U.S. Army, along with all of the Auburn community’s veterans.

For more information, visit auburnalabama.org/veterans.

National Guard

Update: Monday, May 4, 9:15 a.m.

The 187th Fighter Wing division of the Alabama Air National Guard will flyover hospitals and communities Tuesday to honor the state's frontline heroes in the COVID-19 response. 

F-16s will flyover seven cities, including Auburn, Tuesday afternoon. 

The planes will fly over these cities during the following times Tuesday:

  • Auburn, Tuskegee, Montgomery: Noon - 12:15 p.m.
  • Tuscaloosa: Noon - 12:15 p.m.
  • Mobile: 12:10 p.m. - 12:20 p.m.
  • Decatur: 12:15 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.
  • Dothan: 12:30 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.

Opelika court extends restrictions

Update: Friday, May 1, 3:00 p.m.

Due to continued concerns with COVID-19, Opelika Municipal Court has extended its March 13 emergency order until May 15, or until such time as the Supreme Court of Alabama issues further orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak as it relates to the state’s judicial branch. 

During this order and to limit in-person contact, only inmates who have not made bond will appear in court. 

Opelika Municipal Court will implement any required restrictions on occupancy and comply fully with the recommendations and requirements of the Safer at Home Order concerning protections for employees and other individuals. 

The Court will reschedule all non-jail hearings previously scheduled for May 1-15. Court employees will be mailing continuance letters.

If no further orders are issued, court will resume on May 20.

For more information, call 334-705-5196.

Auburn graduates

Update: Thursday, April 30, 11:55 a.m.

Auburn University is planning to honor its spring 2020 graduates despite graduation being postponed until August.

“We are proud of this graduating class and appreciate their resilience throughout the many uncertainties and challenges resulting from this global pandemic,” said Provost Bill Hardgrave. “It is important that we recognize their scholarly achievements and do all we can to honor their hard work." 

Auburn President Jay Gogue is sending all spring 2020 graduates a commemorative gift box that includes a mortarboard, tassel, two printed commencement programs, an official Alumni Association pin, an academic honor cord for those students who met the criteria, a copy of the Auburn Creed and a graduate gameday button, the university announced Thursday. 

Graduates can expect to start receiving gift boxes via mail beginning next week.

Auburn spring graduates can also contribute to a photo mosaic available on Auburn’s commencement website beginning Thursday. Graduates can upload one personal image from their time at Auburn to the university’s photo mosaic platform that will combine all submitted photos and take the shape of an interlocking AU when finished.

Students will be able to download the completed Spring 2020 mosaic image and share it on their personal social media accounts beginning May 22.  

Graduates can still upload images of themselves in three iconic campus locations using virtual backgrounds even though students won’t be on campus this weekend for commencement ceremonies as originally planned. The virtual backgrounds can be accessed by visiting Auburn’s commencement website and clicking on the “Virtual Backgrounds” box.

This semester, Auburn is transitioning from rental cap and gowns to keepsake regalia that will ship to students. The order deadline for August commencement is June 1. Regalia can be ordered by visiting https://www.aubookstore.com/t-graduation-caps-gowns.aspx.

Auburn’s Board of Trustees conferred degrees for all spring graduates earlier in April, which allows those students to pursue employment or continue their education with the completion of their degrees. 

All totaled, 4,538 degrees were awarded for the spring graduating class, the university said. 

That breaks down to 124 doctoral degrees, 708 master’s degrees, 12 specialist degrees, 136 pharmacy degrees, 115 veterinary medicine degrees and the following bachelor’s degrees by college and school: Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, 838; College of Liberal Arts, 635; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, 723; College of Sciences and Mathematics, 376; College of Education, 292; College of Architecture, Design and Construction, 199; College of Agriculture, 138; College of Human Sciences, 181; and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 61.

The university announced in March the decision to host the spring and summer commencement ceremonies Aug. 8-9. Final August commencement event decisions are contingent on public health circumstances surrounding the global pandemic, Auburn added. 

Traditionally, Auburn’s summer commencement program recognizes 1,500 graduates across two ceremonies. The university will extend the event to multiple ceremonies across two days due to combining spring and summer exercises, provided the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

Opelika prom

Update: Wednesday, April 29, 4:03 p.m.

Opelika High School is cancelling its prom due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The dance was scheduled for May 9. 

Auburn housing move-out to continue

Update: Wednesday, April 29, 12:10 p.m.

Auburn University housing announced Wednesday morning that it will begin allowing move-outs on campus on Friday.

Students will be allowed on campus to move out their belongings on any weekend (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) from May 1 - June 28, according to an Auburn press release. 

Property Management will be cleaning the dorms during the week between move-outs. The dorms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the release said. 

Some gloves will be provided at residence hall desks, as well as hand sanitizer. 

Students cannot bring more than two people with them and should limit their time in the residence halls to two hours, the release added. 

Specifics on the move-out process can be found at: https://auburn.edu/administration/housing/alert.php

Auburn mayor responds to Ivey order

Update: Tuesday, April 28, 1:45 p.m.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders responded Tuesday afternoon to Gov. Ivey's Safer at Home order. He said he had hoped more businesses would be able to reopen this weekend.

"I'm very pleased that [Ivey] has reopened some of the businesses that were closed ... I look forward to the day that all our businesses can be reopened," Anders said.

Opelika

Update: Tuesday, April 28, 1:45 p.m.

The city of Opelika is canceling its Memorial Day Service and fireworks for the Fourth of July due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Gary Fuller announced Tuesday.

Summer Swing and Noon Tunes have also been canceled for May. City officials will reevaluate at the end of May regarding other summer dates, Fuller added.

Opelika will follow Gov. Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home Order which is in force through May 15 at 5 p.m. 

“While Gov. Ivey has lifted some restrictions due to COVID-19, we understand that we must continue to see a flattening of cases,” Fuller said. “It is still imperative that people maintain social distancing, less than 10 people gathered and good hygiene. We are encouraged that the governor opened retail and look forward to all businesses being open soon.”

City parks and walking trails will open Friday at 7 a.m. This includes disk golf, pickleball courts, dog parks and tennis courts, Fuller said. 

However, playground equipment at all city parks and outdoor city basketball courts will remain closed until May 15 at 5 p.m.  

In addition to the state order and the items mentioned above, Opelika announced the following changes and information effective Friday at 7 a.m. through May 15 at 5 p.m.:

  • City buildings, except for the Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library, will remain closed. Employees will continue to serve the public online, by phone or by email.
  • The Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library will be open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the following restrictions and limitations in place:
    • The Avenue A door by the fountain is the only entrance to the library open;
    • Only 30 people are allowed in the building at one time;
    • The computer lab is limited to five people with 20 minutes of use, non-renewable;
    • Children’s room is limited to five people at a time;
    • Genealogy room is closed;
    • Newspapers are unavailable;
    • No meeting space or study space available;
    • No programs or special events;
    • Printing, faxing and notary service are available but a 6-foot distance must be maintained during all transactions. Customers should call ahead to verify notary service is available at 334-705-5380;
    • Curbside pickup service is available. Customers can place holds online at www.cooperlibrary.com or call 334-705-5380 to request items. Customers should call 334-705-5380 when they arrive and the items will be brought out to them.
  • Retail should still allow no more than 20 percent of stated fire capacity in the store at a time. The 20 percent capacity limit does not apply to employees;
  • May city council meetings will be limited to 10 city officials and will be live-streamed through Facebook. There will be no citizen communications or public hearings.

Local reactions to Ivey order coming in

Update: Tuesday, April 28, 1:26 p.m.

Local government and business officials are reacting to Gov. Kay Ivey's Safer at Home order, which loosens retail and some tourism restrictions but keeps dining rooms and churches closed for now.

Pastor Clifford Jones at Greater Peace Baptist Church in Opelika said his church won't fully reopen until he's sure it's safe to do so.

“That’s going to have to be a decision by the spiritual leaders of the congregation. Greater Peace will not come back together in a formal meeting, congregational wise, unless I feel certain that the people are safe," Jones told the Opelika-Auburn News. "I have a responsibility to protect the flock that God has placed me over. While I miss the congregation and my people, I just don’t think it wise to make a decision without all the facts pertaining to it.”

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller was hoping for more easing of restrictions, but said he supports Ivey's cautious approach.

"I was pleased with it, but I wish more things could be open, like barber shops, because I need a hair cut," Fuller quipped.

Some downtown Opelika shops could start reopening when Ivey's new order goes into effect Friday.

"I think it's going to be great for our retail businesses ... but it's going to take time for some," said Opelika Main Street Executive Director Ken Ward, who added later, "We could have 4 or 5 retailers, at least, who will be able to open up pretty soon."

Safer at home

Update: Tuesday, April 28, 11:20 a.m.

Alabama’s stay-at-home order will expire on April 30 at 5 p.m. but a new order is being put in place until mid-May, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday.

Ivey is issuing a Safer at Home Order that goes into effect on April 30 at 5 pm. It will expire on May 15. 

“Threat of COVID-19 is not over,” Ivey said.

Ivey and state health officials are also encouraging residents to wear face coverings while in public.

The order also recommends state residents minimize travel outside their home, especially if they are sick, wash hands frequently, refrain from touching their face, sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside elbow and disinfect frequently used or touched surfaces.

The following are items new under the safer at home order:

  • People are encouraged to stay home and follow good sanitization practices
  • Businesses may open subject to sanitization and social-distancing guidelines; certain higher-risk businesses and activities remain closed.
  • All retail stores may open but must have a 50 percent occupancy rate and follow social-distancing and sanitization rules.
  • Beaches are open, however, gatherings of 10 or more people are not allowed. People must maintain 6 feet of separation.
  • Medical procedures are allowed unless prohibited in the future by the state health officer to preserve resources necessary to treat COVID-19.

The following items are staying the same under the safer at home order:

  • Non-work gathers are still limited to fewer than 10 people with 6 feet of distance between people. Drive-in gathers are allowed if participants stay in cars with people from their own households.
  • Regular programming at senior citizen centers is suspended except meals will be available through curbside pick-up or delivery.
  • Educational institutions will remain closed to in-person instruction.
  • Child daycare facilities still may not allow 12 or more children in a room.
  • Hospitals and nursing homes must continue to implement policies to restrict visitation.
  • Restaurants, bars and breweries are still limited to take-out, curbside and delivery.
  • Entertainment venues, athletic facilities and activities, and close-contact service providers are still closed.

The following businesses must remain closed under the Safer at Home Order:

  • Night clubs
  • Bowling alleys
  • Arcades
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers
  • Tourist attractions
  • Racetracks
  • Indoor children’s play areas
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls
  • Venues operated by social clubs
  • Fitness centers and commercial gyms
  • Spas
  • Yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • Sports that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet
  • Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus equipment
  • Activities on commercial or public playground equipment
  • Barber shops
  • Hair salons (other than hair restoration centers)
  • Waxing salons
  • Threading salons
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Body art facilities and tattoo services
  • Massage therapy establishments and services (other than for medically prescribed services)

EAMC

Update: Tuesday, April 28, 9:45 a.m.

Monday marked the lowest number of positive and pending COVID-19 cases hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center since April 2, the hospital announced.

There were 55 people with either confirmed or suspect COVID-19 patients hospitalized at EAMC and EAMC-Lanier as of Monday, the lowest number since April 2.

There were seven patients on ventilators as of Monday as well.

The highest number of patients hospitalized with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 came on April 9 when there were 84 people hospitalized at EAMC and EAMC-Lanier, according to hospital data.

Auburn University

Update: Monday, April 27, 5:42 p.m.

The Auburn University campus will stay closed through the end of June, according to a statement issued by university officials late Monday.

“Remote delivery of instruction will continue through Summer 2020 Sessions 1 and 2. A decision regarding course delivery for Session 3 (remotely or on-campus) will be made by June 1, 2020,” the statement read. “All university events are canceled through June 30.”

Current employees will be paid through May 9 at their regular rate of pay, even if they are unable to perform their normal job responsibilities; however, beginning on May 10:

  • All Auburn employees working via remote should continue to do so through June 30;
  • Employees who can’t do their jobs remotely and aren’t working on campus will have to address their individual situations with their supervisors. Employees are expected to communicate with supervisors and seek approval of any absences during which they will not be available for work.

The university medical clinic will remain open. Those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come to work and should immediately call the Auburn Medical Clinic at 334-844-9825 before visiting the clinic.

Ivey

Update: Monday, April 27, 1:04 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey will hold a joint press conference Tuesday to provide further updates on COVID-19, the governor’s office announced Monday.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and members of the Executive Committee of Ivey’s Coronavirus Task Force will be joining the governor.

The news conference is set to begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Plasma

Update: Thursday, April 23, 6:55 p.m.

A Chambers County resident and East Alabama Medical Center employee became the first COVID-19 plasma donor in Alabama for LifeSouth Blood Center Thursday.

Eryn Morris, RN, a care coordinator at EAMC was one of the first COVID-19 patients in Chambers County. She became the first plasma donor for LifeSouth in Alabama Thursday after recovering from COVID-19, EAMC said.

Morris was tested at HealthPlus in Auburn on March 20 and was quarantined in her home for 17 days. She decided that she wanted to donate plasma as soon as she could during her time in quarantine.

“I had a lot of time at home to think about the patients in the hospital who were so sick with COVID-19,” said Morris during her plasma donation Thursday in Opelika. 

“My body was strong enough to fight off COVID, but somebody else may not be able to and could benefit from the antibodies in my plasma.”

Plasma is type-specific, like blood, meaning that Morris’ A-positive plasma will have to be matched to an A-positive patient. Processing takes only about 24 hours, so her plasma donation will be available as early as Friday night, EAMC said.

Eligible donors can register at https://lifesouth.bio-linked.org/, and LifeSouth will contact those who register directly. For questions regarding donation, email LifeSouth at medicaloffice@lifesouth.org or call (888) 795-2707. Let them know you are donating to East Alabama Medical Center.

ADVA

Update: Thursday, April 23, 4:38 p.m.

Eight residents at an Alabama state veterans home in Alexander City have died from complications attributed to COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) said Thursday.

The Bill Nichols State Veterans Home has seen eight residents die from the virus. Testing confirmed that 64 residents and 23 employees of the home have the virus, ADVA said.

Testing of all the residents at the home was completed on Saturday.

“For several weeks, we have advocated for more testing at the state veterans homes, but test kits have been limited. Now that we’re able to increase testing, this significantly improves our capability to contain and reduce the risk of the virus from spreading,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis.

The Alabama National Guard deployed a specialized unit to the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home Saturday. The unit disinfected residents’ rooms, hallways, common areas and administrative offices, ADVA said.

Residents who test positive for the virus are moved to isolation areas inside the home for further care and treatment. Employees who show symptoms of the virus are not allowed to enter the home, said ADVA.

ADPH

Update: Thursday, April 23, 3:12 p.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) changed how its recording deaths related to COVID-19.

Deaths are now listed on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard and table in one death category, COVID-19 Deaths, instead of two, ADPH announced Thursday.

“Last week, the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) provided updated guidance regarding reporting COVID-19 related deaths,” the department said.

The criteria for COVID-19 death counts include people who died with a positive COVID-19 test as well as patients whose death certificates list COVID-19 or an equivalent as the cause of the death, according to ADPH.

“As expected, the numbers moved closer to the ‘Reported Deaths’ count and cases increased in some counties as part of the update,” ADPH said. “Most of these changes in numbers are due to cases that have died but were not previously marked as died from COVID-19.”

Auburn Payment Plan 

Update: Thursday, April 23, 2:05 p.m. 

Students at Auburn University can spread out their tuition payments in installments for the Fall of 2020. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made education costs a burden on many students. Auburn University announced its payment plan in a Thursday afternoon release. 

The payment plans will be available for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. For the fall semester, the payments will begin on either June 5, July 5 or August 5. 

The spring payment plans begin on either October 5, November 5 or December 5. Plans can be divided between two, three or four payments. 

A $45 registration fee applies to the plans, the release said. 

Students can enroll through: https://auburn.afford.com or call tuition management systems at 800-722-4867.

Additionally, the school has dropped the student service fee for summer classes. 

Local cases

Update: Wednesday, April 22, 5:45 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases in east Alabama slightly increased Wednesday, according to data provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Chambers and Lee counties saw nine new cases of COVID-19 each as of 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, bringing the Lee County’s total to 328 confirmed cases and Chambers County’s to 268, according to ADPH 

Tallapoosa County saw 14 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 242.

Russell County saw four new cases and Macon County saw one new case, according to ADPH. 

There are 52 confirmed cases in Russell County and 28 in Macon County.

There are 5,572 confirmed cases, 195 reported deaths and 178 confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Looking at local death tolls, numbers stayed relatively the same Wednesday.

There are 16 reported deaths in Chambers County, 19 in Lee County, two in Macon County and 15 in Tallapoosa County.

Tallapoosa County was the only local county as of 5:45 p.m. Wednesday to report that another resident with COVID-19 died.

EAMC

Update: Tuesday, April 21, 5:11 p.m.

The number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 is slowly decreasing at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC).

There are 56 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, three less than Monday night’s total, the hospital said Tuesday.

There are 39 hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 17 suspected, EAMC said.

Additionally, there are 16 patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 but have since tested negative.

Sixty-eight patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, EAMC said.

Death toll

Update: Tuesday, April 21, 4:35 p.m.

The death toll in east Alabama continues to rise, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Chambers County reported three new deaths Tuesday, bringing the county's total reported deaths to 16. Lee County reported three new deaths Tuesday. There are now 18 reported deaths in the county, according to ADPH.

Tallapoosa County also reported two new deaths Tuesday, bringing the county's total reported deaths to 14.

ADPH has confirmed that 13 deaths in Chambers County, 16 in Lee County and 11 in Tallapoosa County were due to COVID-19.

The only counties with more reported deaths than Chambers, Lee and Tallapoosa counties are Jefferson and Mobile.

There are 5,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 180 reported deaths and 147 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Stay at home

Update: Tuesday, April 21, 11:42 a.m.

Alabama’s stay at home order will remain in effect until April 30, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday.

She said this week is the projected peak of COVID-19 in the state.

EAMC

Update: Tuesday, April 21, 10:50 a.m.

Hospitalizations remain steady at East Alabama Medical Center when it comes to COVID-19 patients.

There are 59 hospitalized patients with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19, of those 39 are positive and 20 are pending results, EAMC said Monday night.

Thirteen hospitalized patients tested negative for the virus and 68 COVID-19 patients have been discharged, EAMC added.

AU Update

Update: Monday, April 20, 5:32 p.m. 

An Auburn University faculty member has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Senior lecturer Roger Rice, who taught in Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science, died after contracting the virus.

“Auburn University is deeply sadden by the recent passing of senior lecturer Roger Rice, who taught in Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science,” Auburn University said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time.”

The death has not been confirmed as being from COVID-19, Dr. Fred Kam, the medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic, told the Opelika-Auburn News. 

Nine Auburn University employees and 11 students have tested positive, Kam added.

There are 311 confirmed cases in Lee County and 15 reported deaths, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Case update

Update: Monday, April 20, 10:25 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in east Alabama and the state.

There are 247 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 307 in Lee County, 26 in Macon County, 45 in Russell County and 194 in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 4,946 confirmed cases, 165 reported deaths and 113 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

East Alabama counties also continue to report deaths of resident that died after contracting the virus.

There are 14 reported deaths in Chambers County, 14 in Lee County, two in Macon County and 12 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed 11 deaths in Chambers County, 11 in Lee County, two in Macon County and nine in Tallapoosa County.

EAMC hotline

Update: Friday, April 17, 4:37 p.m.

East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) is seeing a decrease in calls to its COVID-19 hotline despite Lee County surpassing 300 confirmed cases Friday.

EAMC received more than 1,000 phone calls to its 334-528-SICK hotline in 24 hours at times, but routinely averaged 700-1,000 calls a day, the hospital said.

The number of calls per day has decreased along with hospitalized patients. The call volume dropped this week to about 400 a day and weekend call volumes are usually half of weekday call volumes, EAMC said.

The call center is issuing new hours to the lower demand. The new hours are as follows: 

  • Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (CDT)
  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (CDT) 

There are 301 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, 236 in Chambers County, 24 in Macon County, 35 in Russell County and 159 in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

There are 4,568 confirmed cases, 148 reported deaths and 96 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

National Guard

Update: Friday, April 17, 4:11 p.m.

The Alabama National Guard is being deployed to designated nursing homes in the state in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced Friday.

Specially trained and equipped National Guard teams will disinfect nursing homes that have COVID-19 positive residents and employees and will train staff on the techniques of donning and doffing personal protective equipment.

The Alabama National Guard is here to serve our citizens, and I'm glad Governor Ivey asked us to take on this important mission," said Major General Sheryl Gordon, adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard. "Our specially trained soldiers are prepared to assist nursing homes as they fight the spread of COVID-19."

Auburn Oil Co Booksellers 

Update: Friday, April 17, 11:25 a.m.

Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers has begun offering delivery to the Auburn community. 

Not only is Auburn in luck, but Opelika and Beauregard as well, according to a Facebook post by the Booksellers. 

Customers can call 334-246-3003 to place an order.

Reopening Alabama

Update: Friday, April 17, 10:38 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and State Representative Danny Garrett (R - Trussville) released the “Reopen Alabama Responsibly: Phase I” report Friday, which is a series of recommendations requested by Gov. Kay Ivey for reopening the state’s economy in the coming weeks.

“Our report provides an effective roadmap for safely reopening businesses, restoring commerce, and recharging Alabama’s economy while, at the same time, protecting the public health,” Ainsworth said.  “It allows stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and businesses of all sizes to once again open their doors because when it comes to restarting our economy and putting people back to work, every business is an essential business.”

 Ivey asked the Small Business Commission, which is statutorily led by Ainsworth, to submit the recommendations for putting Alabama back to work in a safe and responsible manner. 

A subcommittee of business leaders and members of the Alabama Legislature drafted the “Reopen Alabama Responsibly Phase: I” report that has been submitted to the governor, and the full commission ratified its contents.  Rep. Garrett, who led the subcommittee, reached out to business owners across all industry sectors in order to provide the most comprehensive recommendations possible.

“We have worked to create a detailed and thorough plan that considers all variables and allows businesses to resume operations if they follow strict health and safety guidelines for the foreseeable future,” Garrett said.  “The numbers indicate that Alabama successfully minimized the health damage that COVID-19 posed to its citizens, so now we must begin to repair the serious and crippling economic damage that the virus inflicted.” 

While many recommendations are specific to various industries listed within the report, some guidelines that broadly apply to all economic concerns operating within Alabama include: 

  • Strictly monitoring the health of employees and placing any employee who displays symptoms of COVID-19 on sick leave
  • Limiting the number of people allowed inside the place of business at one time
  • Increasing the frequency of all sanitizing and cleaning measures and requiring additional sanitizing measures for certain circumstances
  • Enforcing social distancing in all areas of the place of business, specifically high-traffic areas where markings will be required to ensure safe spacing at all times
  • Establishing measures to limit interaction between employees and customers 

Other recommendations within individual -but not all - business sectors include limiting cash transactions, requiring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks, and requiring temperature checks of customers before entering some businesses.

Ivey has said the economic resumption plan will be weighed alongside the recommendations of State Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and other medical professionals working to ensure that COVID-19 numbers continue to stabilize and decline.  She expects to join Dr. Harris in issuing a new and updated State Public Health Order “on or before April 28.”

EAMC

Update: Thursday, April 16 8:52 p.m.

Nearly 60 people are hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the hospital said Thursday night.

There are 45 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 12 patients hospitalized with suspected coronavirus.

Sixty patients have been discharged that were previously hospitalized with COVID-19. Additionally, 17 hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since tested negative.

Arbor Springs

Update: Thursday, April 16, 3:40 p.m.

An Opelika nursing home is being hit hard by COVID-19 with residents dying and more than 50 residents testing positive for the virus.

Arbor Springs Health & Rehab Center has 56 residents who tested positive for the virus, including 42 in the very first round of testing, Annie Swanson, administrator of Arbor Springs, said Thursday.

Some of the residents who tested positive for the virus required hospitalization.

Nine residents of the home have died since the first case was confirmed in late March. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) determined two of the deaths were not the result of the virus, Swanson said.

ADPH has not made determinations with regard to the other deaths. Three residents who died were on hospice care before the virus outbreak, Swanson added.

“Despite our best efforts, the virus found its way into Arbor Springs,” Swanson said. “Since a resident and an employee tested positive in late March, we have followed all state and federal protocols to protect our other residents and staff, and we have taken every possible step to determine the extent of infections and to contain the virus.

“Still, east Alabama has been hit particularly hard in this outbreak, and we have experienced a significant impact as well.”

The home also had 23 of its 231 employees test positive for the virus, Swanson said.

Arbor Springs has 21 active cases currently, which includes 15 residents who have never exhibited symptoms. All residents with the virus are being isolated and monitored closely for any change in their condition, Swanson said.

The home has been in constant contact with ADPH and the Lee County Health Department.

“We believe our efforts to combat the virus are showing results, and we will continue to do everything necessary to make sure we keep moving in the right direction,” Swanson said. “Our full attention is focused on the safety of our residents and our team, and we will continue to take every precaution to protect them.”

ADOC

Update: Thursday, April 16, 1:12 p.m.

Six Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) employees have tested positive for COVID-19, ADOC said Thursday.

The staff members have all self-reported positive tests for COVID-19. There are no inmates who have tested positive for the virus, ADOC said.

ADOC has tested 50 inmates to date for COVID-19.

Inmates who show signs or symptoms of the virus are evaluated by a physician, who will order a test for COVID-19 if appropriate CDC testing criteria are met, ADOC said.

ADOC has tested inmates for COVID-19 at the following facilities:

  • Bibb – 6
  • Bullock – 5 (1 test result pending)
  • Donaldson – 5 (1 test result pending)
  • Easterling – 1
  • Elmore – 2
  • Fountain – 3
  • Holman – 1
  • Kilby – 7
  • Limestone – 5 (2 test results pending)
  • North Alabama – 1
  • St. Clair – 3
  • Staton – 5 (1 test result pending)
  • Tutwiler – 1
  • Ventress – 5

Chambers County

Update: Thursday, April 16, 11:51 a.m.

Chambers County is reporting that another resident has died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The death was reported Thursday and brings the total number of reported deaths in Chambers County to 11. 

There are 4,317 confirmed cases, 129 reported deaths and 82 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

EAMC

Update: Thursday, April 16, 7:13 a.m.

The East Alabama Medical Center COVID-19 patient who was featured in a viral video became the 47th COVID-19 patient to be discharged Tuesday.

Tony Thornton, of Auburn, was moved from the intensive care unit to a regular bed on April 7. Hospital staff celebrated his milestone with a pep rally.

The 48-year-old became EAMC’s 47th patient to be discharged home after being hospitalized with COVID-19 Tuesday.

Thornton was admitted to EAMC on March 20 and was put on a ventilator. He was removed from the ventilator on April 5 and was wheeled out of the ICU on April 7.

EAMC-Lanier

Update: Wednesday, April 15, 3:43 p.m.

One of the first COVID-19 patients at East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier Hospital was discharged from the medical nursing unit Tuesday.

Myrtis Chappell, who is 88-years-old, was discharged from the hospital’s medical nursing unit Tuesday and will now begin a 20-day physical therapy rehab regimen before returning home, EAMC said.

When Chappell arrived at EAMC-Lanier, she was Flu A and Flu B positive in addition to being COVID-19 positive.

Chappell has been re-tested since her recovery and is now COVID-19 negative, EAMC added.

Hospital employees lined the hallway cheering her on.

Lee County Sheriff's Office

Update: Wednesday, April 15, 2:30 p.m.

A Lee County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

The office received word Tuesday night that the employee tested positive for the virus. The officer is self-quarantined at home.

Jones believes the protocols his office has in place restricted exposure to others in the office. Employees who came in contact with the officer are self-isolating and are being monitored for symptoms.

No inmates at the Lee County Jail have tested positive for the virus.

Jones believes it is possible the employee contracted the virus through another part-time job and not while working at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Lee County deaths

Update: Wednesday, April 15, 12:25 p.m.

Lee County is reporting that another county resident has died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Wednesday’s reported death brings the county’s total reported deaths to 12. ADPH has confirmed eight deaths in the county.

There are 4,043 confirmed cases, 117 reported deaths and 75 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH. 

The number of confirmed cases also continues to rise in east Alabama.

There are 217 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 267 in Lee County, 19 in Macon County, 30 in Russell County and 127 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 620 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 24
  • Baldwin – 90
  • Barbour - 11
  • Bibb - 18
  • Blount – 18
  • Bullock - 8
  • Butler – 9
  • Calhoun – 62
  • Chambers – 217
  • Cherokee – 9
  • Chilton – 35
  • Choctaw – 12
  • Clarke – 21
  • Clay – 14
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 38
  • Colbert – 11
  • Conecuh – 5
  • Coosa – 19
  • Covington - 16
  • Crenshaw - 3
  • Cullman – 40
  • Dale – 12
  • Dallas - 17
  • DeKalb - 29
  • Elmore – 47
  • Escambia - 9
  • Etowah – 78
  • Fayette - 4
  • Franklin – 13
  • Geneva – 2
  • Greene – 18
  • Hale – 18
  • Henry - 14
  • Houston – 53
  • Jackson – 30
  • Jefferson – 620
  • Lamar – 7
  • Lauderdale – 22
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 267
  • Limestone – 37
  • Lowndes – 20
  • Macon - 19
  • Madison – 191
  • Marengo - 23
  • Marion – 58
  • Marshall – 106
  • Mobile – 548
  • Monroe - 7
  • Montgomery – 171
  • Morgan – 42
  • Perry – 7
  • Pickens – 24
  • Pike – 22
  • Randolph - 45
  • Russell – 30
  • Shelby – 237
  • St. Clair – 47
  • Sumter – 27
  • Talladega – 38
  • Tallapoosa – 127
  • Tuscaloosa – 126
  • Walker – 84
  • Washington – 12
  • Wilcox – 33
  • Winston - 4 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Local deaths

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 6:06 p.m.

Chambers, Lee and Macon counties are reporting that more county residents have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Chambers County reported Tuesday that two more residents have died after contracting the virus, bringing the total of reported deaths to 10. ADPH has confirmed eight deaths in the county.

Lee County reported Tuesday that another resident has died after being diagnosed with coronavirus, bringing the county’s total reported deaths to 11. ADPH has confirmed eight deaths in the county.

Macon County reported Tuesday that a resident has died after contracting the virus, bringing the county’s total reported deaths to two. ADPH has confirmed one death in the county.

There are 3,953 confirmed cases, 114 reported deaths and 73 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

EAMC update

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 5:40 p.m.

There are nearly 60 patients hospitalized with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 at East Alabama Medical Center.

There are 48 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 11 hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, the hospital said Tuesday. 

Forty-seven patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have since been discharged, the hospital added. 

There are an additional 20 patients hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 but have since tested negative.

Southern Union

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 4:18 p.m.

Southern Union State Community College will continue online or alternative delivery instruction through the summer semester, the school announced Tuesday.

There will be limited face-to-face offerings in specialized courses in the health science and technical divisions later in the summer as allowed.

Summer classes for Southern Union begin May 18.

“We have made this decision in an effort to continue to do our part to fight the spread of the coronavirus,” said Southern Union President Todd Shackett. “Southern Union has a longstanding successful record in online instruction, so we are fully equipped to handle this challenge. We stay committed to supporting our students and urge them to take advantage of resources such as online tutoring through our success center, or other campus resources to help them be successful. We encourage our students, faculty and staff to continue to take proper precautions and stay well.”

Death county

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 2:38 p.m.

Lee County is reporting that another county resident has died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County now has 10 reported deaths. ADPH has confirmed that eight of those deaths were due to COVID-19.

The only other counties in Alabama with more reported deaths than Lee County are Jefferson and Mobile counties, according to ADPH. 

There are 3,876 confirmed cases, 110 reported deaths and 73 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

Bill Nichols State Veterans Home

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 1:07 p.m.

Two residents at the Bills Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City have died due to COVID-19 as more residents and employees at the facility test positive for the virus.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) announced Tuesday that since the first reported cases of COVID-19 on April 8 at the Bills Nichols State Veterans Home, an additional 25 residents and 18 staff members have tested positive.

The two residents that died after testing positive were ages 89 and 99. Both residents also had multiple comorbidities, ADVA said. 

“We want to assure the families of those veterans entrusted in our care, and to the communities, that our professional and dedicated staff at the state veterans homes are following all necessary precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus by screening and testing residents and employees of the COVID-19 virus,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. 

Two employees of the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette have also tested positive, ADVA said.

Residents who test positive for the virus are moved to isolations areas inside the homes for further care and treatment. Home employees who exhibit symptoms of the virus are not allowed to enter the facility, ADVA said.

Food Bank of East Alabama

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 12:34 p.m.

The Food Bank of East Alabama is hosting another drive-through food distribution on Friday.

The distribution will take place between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Bags will contain fresh and frozen produce and some frozen meat. They will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Reservations are not required.

Participants must stay in their vehicles while a staff member loads the food in their trunk.

The food bank is located at 355 Industry Drive, Auburn.

Federal airport funding

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 12:15 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $53,969,530 in airport aid to 73 airports in Alabama, including the Auburn University Regional Airport, in response to COVID-19, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced Tuesday.

The grant funding is part of the Trump Administration’s newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program.

The Auburn University Regional Airport is set to receive $69,000 in funding, according to the FAA

“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” said Chao.

The funding will support continued airport operations and replace lost revenue due to the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to coronavirus. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

“Thank you to the dedicated men and women from the FAA’s Office of Airports for creating an entirely new program in record time to assist airport sponsors in desperate need of these funds,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Press conference

Update: Tuesday, April 14, 10 a.m. 

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Gov. Kay Ivey will hold a COVID-19 update at 11 a.m. today.

The news conference will be live-streamed on Ivey’s Facebook page.

Local deaths

Update: Monday, April 13, 6 p.m.

Lee and Tallapoosa counties are reporting that more residents have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County has reported that nine residents have died after contracting the virus. ADPH has confirmed six deaths in the county.

Tallapoosa County has reported that seven residents have died after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Two deaths in the county have been confirmed by ADPH.

There are 3,803 confirmed cases, 103 reported deaths and 62 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed deaths in the following counties:

  • Autauga – 1
  • Chambers – 8
  • Colbert – 1
  • Etowah – 6
  • Jackson – 2
  • Jefferson – 8
  • Lauderdale – 1
  • Lee – 6
  • Macon – 1
  • Madison – 3
  • Marengo – 1
  • Marion – 3
  • Marshall – 1
  • Mobile – 9
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Randolph – 2
  • Shelby – 5
  • Tallapoosa – 2
  • Washington – 1

Opelika Mayor extends city closures 

Update: Monday, April 13, 2:00 p.m. 

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller signed an executive order this morning extending city closures through April 30, according to a city release. 

The closures includes all city parks, recreation department activities, municipal court trials and city events, the release said. 

Both city council and the planning commission will be held remotely and virtually. 

Case update

Update: Monday, April 13, 8:12 a.m.

Tallapoosa County hit a COVID-19 case milestone Monday morning.

There are now 100 confirmed cases in the county, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Tallapoosa County is also reporting that five residents have died after contracting the virus. ADPH has confirmed two deaths in the county. 

There are 3,611 confirmed cases, 95 reported deaths and 61 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

There are 202 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 239 in Lee County, 14 in Macon County and 24 in Russell, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 597 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 19
  • Baldwin – 71
  • Barbour - 10
  • Bibb - 16
  • Blount – 14
  • Bullock - 4
  • Butler – 7
  • Calhoun – 61
  • Chambers – 202
  • Cherokee – 9
  • Chilton – 30
  • Choctaw – 10
  • Clarke – 19
  • Clay – 14
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 32
  • Colbert – 9
  • Conecuh – 5
  • Coosa – 18
  • Covington - 13
  • Crenshaw - 3
  • Cullman – 39
  • Dale – 10
  • Dallas - 14
  • DeKalb - 27
  • Elmore – 34
  • Escambia - 8
  • Etowah – 77
  • Fayette - 4
  • Franklin – 10
  • Geneva – 1
  • Greene – 17
  • Hale – 15
  • Henry - 11
  • Houston – 46
  • Jackson – 25
  • Jefferson – 597
  • Lamar – 8
  • Lauderdale – 21
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 239
  • Limestone – 37
  • Lowndes – 14
  • Macon - 14
  • Madison – 187
  • Marengo - 21
  • Marion – 53
  • Marshall – 100
  • Mobile – 454
  • Monroe - 6
  • Montgomery – 120
  • Morgan – 41
  • Perry – 6
  • Pickens – 22
  • Pike – 20
  • Randolph - 38
  • Russell – 24
  • Shelby – 219
  • St. Clair – 42
  • Sumter – 21
  • Talladega – 34
  • Tallapoosa – 100
  • Tuscaloosa – 120
  • Walker – 83
  • Washington – 12
  • Wilcox – 30
  • Winston - 4 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Case update

Update: Sunday, April 12, 5:42 p.m.

Chambers County surpassed another milestone Sunday. There are now 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The only other Alabama counties with more than 200 confirmed cases are Jefferson, Lee, Mobile and Shelby.

There are 3,579 confirmed cases, 93 reported deaths and 61 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH. 

There are 236 confirmed cases in Lee County, 14 in Macon County, 24 in Russell and 98 in Tallapoosa County.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 597 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 19
  • Baldwin – 71
  • Barbour - 10
  • Bibb - 16
  • Blount – 13
  • Bullock - 4
  • Butler – 7
  • Calhoun – 60
  • Chambers – 200
  • Cherokee – 9
  • Chilton – 30
  • Choctaw – 10
  • Clarke – 19
  • Clay – 14
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 31
  • Colbert – 9
  • Conecuh – 5
  • Coosa – 18
  • Covington - 13
  • Crenshaw - 3
  • Cullman – 39
  • Dale – 8
  • Dallas - 14
  • DeKalb - 26
  • Elmore – 33
  • Escambia - 8
  • Etowah – 77
  • Fayette - 4
  • Franklin – 10
  • Geneva – 1
  • Greene – 17
  • Hale – 15
  • Henry - 11
  • Houston – 44
  • Jackson – 24
  • Jefferson – 597
  • Lamar – 8
  • Lauderdale – 21
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 236
  • Limestone – 37
  • Lowndes – 14
  • Macon - 14
  • Madison – 187
  • Marengo - 21
  • Marion – 42
  • Marshall – 99
  • Mobile – 454
  • Monroe - 6
  • Montgomery – 120
  • Morgan – 38
  • Perry – 6
  • Pickens – 22
  • Pike – 20
  • Randolph - 36
  • Russell – 24
  • Shelby – 213
  • St. Clair – 42
  • Sumter – 20
  • Talladega – 34
  • Tallapoosa – 98
  • Tuscaloosa – 119
  • Walker – 83
  • Washington – 12
  • Wilcox – 30
  • Winston - 4 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Case update

Update: Saturday, April 11, 11:36 p.m.

Lee County reported Saturday that two more residents have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County has reported that eight residents have died after contracting the virus. Six of the deaths have been confirmed by ADPH.

Tallapoosa County has reported that four residents have died after being diagnosed with the virus. Two deaths in the county have been confirmed by ADPH.

There are 3,262 confirmed cases, 93 reported deaths and 60 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed deaths in the following counties:

  • Autauga – 1
  • Chambers – 8
  • Colbert – 1
  • Etowah – 5
  • Jackson – 2
  • Jefferson – 8
  • Lauderdale – 1
  • Lee – 6
  • Macon – 1
  • Madison – 3
  • Marengo – 1
  • Marion – 2
  • Marshall – 1
  • Mobile – 9
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Randolph – 2
  • Shelby – 5
  • Tallapoosa – 2
  • Washington – 1

The number of confirmed cases in east Alabama also rose Saturday. 

There are 184 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 221 in Lee County, 12 in Macon County, 22 in Russell County and 62 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH. 

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 579 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 19
  • Baldwin – 66
  • Barbour - 10
  • Bibb - 13
  • Blount – 12
  • Bullock - 4
  • Butler – 6
  • Calhoun – 57
  • Chambers – 184
  • Cherokee – 7
  • Chilton – 30
  • Choctaw – 9
  • Clarke – 15
  • Clay – 12
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 20
  • Colbert – 8
  • Conecuh – 3
  • Coosa – 11
  • Covington - 11
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 31
  • Dale – 6
  • Dallas - 10
  • DeKalb - 21
  • Elmore – 30
  • Escambia - 8
  • Etowah – 74
  • Fayette - 3
  • Franklin – 8
  • Greene – 14
  • Hale – 11
  • Henry - 10
  • Houston – 37
  • Jackson – 22
  • Jefferson – 579
  • Lamar – 7
  • Lauderdale – 21
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 221
  • Limestone – 36
  • Lowndes – 14
  • Macon - 12
  • Madison – 186
  • Marengo - 19
  • Marion – 42
  • Marshall – 84
  • Mobile – 429
  • Monroe - 6
  • Montgomery – 106
  • Morgan – 37
  • Perry – 4
  • Pickens – 21
  • Pike – 18
  • Randolph - 27
  • Russell – 22
  • Shelby – 196
  • St. Clair – 39
  • Sumter – 19
  • Talladega – 32
  • Tallapoosa – 62
  • Tuscaloosa – 100
  • Walker – 78
  • Washington – 12
  • Wilcox – 25
  • Winston - 4 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Severe weather

Update: Saturday, April 11, 12:45 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement reminding Alabamians to be prepared for the threat of severe weather tomorrow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Unfortunately, Alabama is far too familiar with the unpredictability of severe weather," Ivey said. "Our state stands prepared and ready to face whatever Mother Nature brings, even amidst a health pandemic. Both the National Weather Service and the State Public Health Department remind Alabamians that the use of shelters and other resources take precedent, should the need arise.

"The safety and protection of Alabama lives is paramount. Be sure to tune in to your trusted weather source, and stay weather aware throughout this holiday weekend.”

EAMC update

Update: Friday, April 10, 5 p.m.

There are 72 patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the hospital said Friday.

There are 51 patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 and 21 with suspected COVID-19, EAMC said.

Thirty-seven patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged. Additionally, 18 patients currently hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since tested negative, EAMC said. 

EAMC released new COVID-19 projection models for the local community Friday.

EAMC’s Chief of Staff Michael Roberts, M.D. used the Penn Medicine CHIME tool last week to look at where East Alabama Medical Center—and its collective communities—stand regarding COVID-19 and social distancing. 

Roberts says the community’s effort is making a difference but “it is not time to take our foot off the gas pedal as it’s very possible to have a second wave of cases and then have to start the whole process over again.” 

The following is the latest projections from EAMC:

  • 0 percent social distancing
    • Peak date: May 5
    • Patients in hospital: 2,331
    • Patients in ICU: 1,149
    • Patients on life support: 1,050
  • 25 percent social distancing
    • Peak date: May 13
    • Patients in hospital: 1,455
    • Patients in ICU: 725
    • Patients on life support: 668
  • 50 percent social distancing
    • Peak date: June 15
    • Patients in hospital: 577
    • Patients in ICU: 290
    • Patients on life support: 268
  • 75 percent social distancing
    • Peak date: April 10
    • Patients in hospital: 61
    • Patients in ICU: 27
    • Patients on life support: 23
  • 100 percent social distancing
    • Peak date: April 9
    • Patients in hospital: 61
    • Patients in ICU: 26
    • Patients on life support: : 23

Camp War Eagle shifts to online sessions

Update: Friday, April 10, 3:46 p.m.

Auburn University's annual Camp War Eagle will be online this year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Students will first be asked to sign up for virtual sessions. Eight sessions will be offered from late May through early July. Each session covers four days, but total engagement time is less than that. All sessions will operate Monday-Thursday with the exception of the second session, which will run Tuesday-Friday to accommodate the Memorial Day holiday.

Students will only need to sign up for one session. There is no advantage to attending an earlier session. Sign up for a session is done through the Camp War Eagle registration portal in AU Access.

Registration will open Wednesday, April 29 at 1 p.m. CST. For session dates and registration instructions, visit fye.auburn.edu/cwe/dates/

Disaster morgue

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

A disaster morgue trailer has been deployed in Lee County in an abundance of proactive preparedness, the Lee County Coroner Bill Harris announced Friday.

The trailer can hold a total of 18 bodies and was requested by East Alabama Medical Center’s (EAMC) in the event of a worst-case scenario if the hospital's morgue becomes overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris said.

EAMC requested through the coroner’s office use of the disaster morgue trailer that is part of the State Mortuary Operations Response Team assets that are stationed in Lee County, Harris said.

The coroner’s office made the official request through the Lee County Emergency Management Agency and the trailer was deployed, said Harris.

“We pray that its use is not needed but wanted to be ready in the event things progressed to the point it was,” coroner’s office said in a statement.

Death count

Update: Friday, April 10, 9:54 a.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed five deaths in Lee County and two in Tallapoosa County as of Friday morning.

Lee County reported Thursday that a sixth resident had died after being diagnosed with the virus. ADPH has confirmed five of the six reported deaths. 

Tallapoosa County reported a second resident had died Thursday after contracting the virus. ADPH has confirmed both deaths.

There are 2,881 confirmed cases, 79 reported deaths and 58 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed deaths in the following counties:

  • Autauga – 1
  • Chambers – 8
  • Colbert – 1
  • Etowah – 5
  • Jackson – 2
  • Jefferson – 8
  • Lauderdale – 1
  • Lee – 5
  • Macon – 1
  • Madison – 3
  • Marengo – 1
  • Marion – 2
  • Marshall – 1
  • Mobile – 9
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Randolph – 1
  • Shelby – 5
  • Tallapoosa – 2
  • Washington – 1

Death count

Update: Thursday, April 9, 5:33 p.m.

Lee and Tallapoosa counties are both reported more residents in each county have died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County reported that a sixth resident died after contracting the virus. Four of the deaths have been confirmed by ADPH.

Tallapoosa County reported that a second resident died after being diagnosed with the virus. One death in the county has been confirmed by ADPH.

Lee County

Update: Thursday, April 9, 4 p.m.

Lee County has surpassed 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (APDH). 

There are 204 confirmed cases in Lee County.

Lee County is the third county in the state to have more than 200 confirmed cases. Both Jefferson and Mobile counties have more than 200 confirmed cases each, according to ADPH.

There are 158 confirmed cases in Chambers County, nine in Macon County, 14 in Russell County and 46 in Tallapoosa County.

There are 2,769 confirmed cases, 74 reported deaths and 48 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 517 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 17
  • Baldwin – 56
  • Barbour - 7
  • Bibb - 9
  • Blount – 11
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 3
  • Calhoun – 53
  • Chambers – 158
  • Cherokee – 7
  • Chilton – 25
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 12
  • Clay – 11
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 13
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 4
  • Coosa – 10
  • Covington - 10
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 24
  • Dale – 6
  • Dallas - 8
  • DeKalb - 16
  • Elmore – 29
  • Escambia - 5
  • Etowah – 49
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 8
  • Geneva – 1
  • Greene – 13
  • Hale – 7
  • Henry - 7
  • Houston – 33
  • Jackson – 22
  • Jefferson – 517
  • Lamar – 7
  • Lauderdale – 20
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 204
  • Limestone – 35
  • Lowndes – 12
  • Macon - 9
  • Madison – 173
  • Marengo - 14
  • Marion – 33
  • Marshall – 60
  • Mobile – 319
  • Monroe - 6
  • Montgomery – 89
  • Morgan – 36
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 17
  • Pike – 18
  • Randolph - 19
  • Russell – 14
  • Shelby – 180
  • St. Clair – 36
  • Sumter – 17
  • Talladega – 29
  • Tallapoosa – 46
  • Tuscaloosa – 85
  • Walker – 70
  • Washington – 11
  • Wilcox – 16
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

State needs businesses to do COVID-19 survey

Update: Thursday, April 9, 3:33 p.m.

AlabamaWorks has lauched The Alabama COVID-19 Workforce Response Survey, which is designed to help the state gauge the impact of the pandemic on the state’s workforce, businesses, industry and state government.

Responses to the survey -- which is available at http://sm.aidt.edu/alabamaworks-survey -- will be accepted through Tuesday, April 21 at 5 p.m. All businesses are highly encouraged to participate.

 For more information and resources on Alabama’s COVID-19 workforce recovery efforts please visit https://alabamaworks.com/coronavirus/.

Auburn University is testing in the parking deck

Update: Thursday, April 8, 3:20 p.m.

Auburn University Medical Clinic has set up a testing site in the South Quad Parking Deck. 

This testing site is by appointment only, the med clinic specified. 

By using the parking deck, there will be more room for social distancing and protection from the weather, it added. 

The testing site was a joint effort by Auburn Safety, Auburn Parking, Auburn Facilities and the Medical Clinic.

Phenix City

Update: Thursday, April 9, 3 p.m.

Two Phenix City employees are facing criminal charges for violating Gov. Kay Ivey’s shelter in place order.

Phenix City police said Quadarius D. Woods, 26, and Tjai D. Bryant, 35, made available and participated in an unsanctioned sporting event at a city-owned facility.

Bryant, Tjai D..jpg

Tjai D. Bryant, 35.

Woods, Quadarius D.jpg

Quadarius D. Woods, 26.

The pair is charged with a misdemeanor. Their actions could result in the termination of their employment with the city, police said.

Phenix City officials also put additional guidelines in place for its employees that stressed the importance of following these directives for the safety of the citizens of Phenix City and its employees, said police.

The investigation into the violation of police by the employees is a separate inquiry, added police.

EAMC pay cuts

Update: Thursday, April 9, 11:45 a.m.

East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) leaders are taking a temporary reduction in pay because the COVID-19 outbreak has affected the hospital's ability to generate revenue, the hospital announced Thursday.

“During this unprecedented event, the inability to do business as usual with surgical operations and physician office operations, coupled with tremendous added expenses related to COVID testing, screening expenses, increased staffing expenses, surge capacity planning and operational expenses has significantly impacted the organization’s ability to generate revenue,” EAMC said in a statement.

EAMC President and CEO Laura Grill asked the hospital’s senior leadership team to take the first cut before asking the employed physicians as well.

The hospital communicated a reduction in pay to the rest of the leadership team (managers and directors) Wednesday.

“I am very hopeful that these cuts will be temporary and that business will return to normal in the near future,” Grill said. “However, leadership starts with all of us. I am immensely proud of our team and entire organization, and thankful for the support of our community as we navigate these challenges.”

Case update

Update: Thursday, April 9, 9:46 a.m.

Lee County is nearing 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Chambers County is nearing 150 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 190 confirmed cases in Lee County and 140 in Chambers County, according to ADPH.

There are six confirmed cases in Macon County, 14 in Russell County and 43 in Tallapoosa County.

There are 2,547 confirmed cases, 68 reported deaths and 48 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

ADPH has confirmed one death in Autauga County, eight in Chambers County, four in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, six in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, four in Lee County, one in Macon County, two in Madison County, one in Marengo County, two in Marion County, one in Marshall County, seven in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 492 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 49
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 9
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 3
  • Calhoun – 52
  • Chambers – 140
  • Cherokee – 7
  • Chilton – 22
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 10
  • Clay – 11
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 12
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 4
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 10
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 22
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 24
  • Escambia - 5
  • Etowah – 47
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Geneva – 1
  • Greene – 12
  • Hale – 7
  • Henry - 5
  • Houston – 27
  • Jackson – 22
  • Jefferson – 492
  • Lamar – 6
  • Lauderdale – 19
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 190
  • Limestone – 32
  • Lowndes – 11
  • Macon - 6
  • Madison – 166
  • Marengo - 14
  • Marion – 23
  • Marshall – 45
  • Mobile – 293
  • Monroe - 6
  • Montgomery – 81
  • Morgan – 34
  • Pickens – 15
  • Pike – 16
  • Randolph - 15
  • Russell – 14
  • Shelby – 165
  • St. Clair – 35
  • Sumter – 17
  • Talladega – 26
  • Tallapoosa – 43
  • Tuscaloosa – 85
  • Walker – 68
  • Washington – 7
  • Wilcox – 14
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

EAMC update

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 5:40 p.m.

There are more than 60 patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the hospital said Wednesday.

There are 43 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 18 hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, EAMC said.

Thirty-one patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged. Also, 16 patients hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since tested negative, EAMC added.

Alexander City veterans home

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 5:10 p.m.

A resident at an Alexander City state veterans home has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) reported Wednesday that a resident of the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home tested positive for the virus.

This is the first reported case of a resident testing positive at a state veterans home in Alabama.

The home tested the resident and placed them on isolation precautions while awaiting results after the residents began showing mild symptoms.

The home administrator notified the veteran’s family, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), Tallapoosa County Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after the resident’s test came back positive, ADVA said.

Nursing home deaths

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 4:52 p.m.

At least two residents at an Opelika nursing home have died due to COVID-19, the Lee County Coroner said Wednesday.

Bill Harris said he’s seen to two virus-related deaths of residents at Arbor Springs Health and Rehab Center, and that he’s waiting on verification on the cause of two to three other recent deaths of residents there.

Arbor Springs was notified March 23 that a resident had tested positive for the virus. An employee at the nursing home also tested positive on March 24, according to previous reports.

“Before the resident developed symptoms, Arbor Springs had implemented safety measures to limit our residents’ exposure to visitors and contact with each other to reduce infections,” a March news release from Arbor Springs reads.

“After receiving the diagnosis, we immediately contacted the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Lee County Department of Health and had already begun implementing additional protocols to help ensure the safety of our residents and employees.”

Harris said that he has certified at least eight death certificates listing COVID-19 as the cause of death. There are six more deaths pending confirmation.​​

Harris’ death count includes those who have died in Lee County. ADPH however, counts the deaths depending on where the person held residence.

ADPH says Lee County has reported that five residents have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Four of the deaths have been verified to be caused by the virus.

Harris said the people who died in Lee County due to COVID-19 were between their 40’s and 90’s and about 95 percent of them had other underlying health issues.

Lanett City Hall

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 4:12 p.m.

Multiple Lanett City Hall employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy said in a news release.

City Hall closed Wednesday at noon. McCoy and city council previously had scheduled City Hall to close Friday through Monday for intensive sanitizing and cleaning but the recent developments caused the McCoy to push the timeline forward.

“At the forefront of our minds is to protect the wellbeing of our employees and citizens,” McCoy said. “We have been in contact with East Alabama Medical Center regarding our positive tests and are following their directives in order to ensure the safety of our employees and citizen.”

Lee County

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 3:35 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases in Lee County skyrocketed during the day Wednesday as the county nears 200 confirmed cases. 

There are 178 confirmed cases in Lee County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). 

There were 133 confirmed cases in the county as of Tuesday night.

The only other Alabama counties with more confirmed cases are Jefferson and Mobile. 

There are 2,427 confirmed cases, 66 reported deaths and 48 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

There are 126 confirmed cases in Chambers County, six in Macon County, 14 in Russell County and 40 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 490 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 47
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 9
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 2
  • Calhoun – 52
  • Chambers – 126
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 10
  • Clay – 11
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 9
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 4
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 10
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 22
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 22
  • Escambia - 5
  • Etowah – 45
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Geneva – 1
  • Greene – 10
  • Hale – 7
  • Henry - 5
  • Houston – 26
  • Jackson – 20
  • Jefferson – 490
  • Lamar – 6
  • Lauderdale – 19
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 178
  • Limestone – 33
  • Lowndes – 10
  • Macon - 6
  • Madison – 159
  • Marengo - 14
  • Marion – 23
  • Marshall – 43
  • Mobile – 249
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 78
  • Morgan – 32
  • Pickens – 15
  • Pike – 16
  • Randolph - 15
  • Russell – 14
  • Shelby – 163
  • St. Clair – 34
  • Sumter – 16
  • Talladega – 23
  • Tallapoosa – 40
  • Tuscaloosa – 83
  • Walker – 65
  • Washington – 7
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Mayor Fuller closes city parks 

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 1:25 p.m.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller has decided to close all Opelika parks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order includes baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, basketball, golf disk and pickleball courts, picnic areas, walking trails and dog park, according to the city release.

Fuller’s order specified that city employees will still be able to continue employment within the parks.

Those who ignore the order can be charged with a misdemeanor, according to the release.

This was not an easy decision to make,” said Mayor Gary Fuller. “However, our health care professionals have recommended closing parks. We hope this measure and the customer limitations at local stores will help us recover sooner than later from COVID-19. I know exercise is important to the health and well-being of everyone. I ask that you just stay close to home. Walk in your neighborhood or exercise in your yard. Let’s do what we need to do at this critical time.”

The following parks and centers are closed:

  • Opelika Sportsplex
  • Covington Recreation Center
  • Denson Recreation Center
  • Bandy Park
  • Floral Park
  • Miles Thomas Field
  • Municipal Park
  • Moore Stadium
  • Ray Ward Park
  • Shady Park
  • West Ridge Park
  • Wood Duck Heritage Siddique Nature Park
  • Stern Park
  • Springvilla Park

Auburn University

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 12:57 p.m.

The Auburn University Medical Clinic has received reports of both Auburn students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The clinic knows of five students and four employees who have tested positive, Dr. Fred , the medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic, told the Opelika-Auburn News.

The reports of positive virus cases came either through the clinic’s direct testing efforts or through word of mouth.

“We have directly contacted any of the names reported to us to investigate their validity and more importantly whether they posed any threat or dangers to others at Auburn,” Kam said.

The students that tested positive all contracted the virus during spring break travel. The employees got infected as a result of a household member or community spread based on their timelines, Kam said.

A non-clinical employee at the Auburn University Medical Clinic contracted the virus at home from a family member and exposed a few co-workers during the asymptomatic phase. The clinic was able to contain the virus spread.

“Because of quick and decisive action, we were able to limit the spread and prevent an outbreak within the clinic,” said Kam. “We practiced exactly what we were trained to do in such a situation.”

No patients were put at risk.

“Our entire clinic team has been diligent about daily self-monitoring and staying at home when necessary,” Kam added.

Auburn’s decision to move classes online and have employees work from home has limited the threat of the virus spreading throughout campus.

“I am pleased to say that every single patient that I am aware of did not pose any notable threat to others at Auburn because of AU leadership's decision to change to online classes and work from home capability for employees,” Kam said. “Despite being disruptive to people's daily routine and social interaction, it was absolutely brilliant from a public health and outbreak prevention status.”

Case update

Update: Wednesday, April 8, 8:32 a.m.

Lee County is reporting that five residents have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Four of the five reported deaths have been verified by ADPH. This means that ADPH has confirmed that four residents have died due to COVID-19.  

ADPH has confirmed eight deaths in Chambers County. 

There are 65 reported deaths, 48 confirmed deaths and 2,229 confirmed cases in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed one death in Autauga County, eight in Chambers County, four in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, six in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, four in Lee County, one in Macon County, two in Madison County, one in Marengo, two in Marion County, one in Marshall County, seven in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County.

The number of confirmed cases also rose overnight.

There are 105 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 135 in Lee County, six in Macon County, 13 in Russell County and 33 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 464 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 43
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 8
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 2
  • Calhoun – 49
  • Chambers – 105
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 10
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 6
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 22
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 22
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 43
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Greene – 10
  • Hale – 7
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 25
  • Jackson – 18
  • Jefferson – 464
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 18
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 135
  • Limestone – 32
  • Lowndes – 8
  • Macon - 6
  • Madison – 150
  • Marengo - 14
  • Marion – 21
  • Marshall – 40
  • Mobile – 221
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 74
  • Morgan – 31
  • Pickens – 14
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 13
  • Russell – 13
  • Shelby – 159
  • St. Clair – 30
  • Sumter – 16
  • Talladega – 21
  • Tallapoosa – 33
  • Tuscaloosa – 79
  • Walker – 64
  • Washington – 7
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

EAMC patient

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 6:16 p.m.

East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) celebrated Tuesday. The hospital moved its first COVID-19 patient well enough to be removed from a ventilator and moved from the ICU to a regular medical room.

Tony Thornton, 48, of Auburn, was admitted to EAMC on March 20 and was put on a ventilator. He was removed from the ventilator Sunday and was wheeled out of the ICU Tuesday. 

“I am still weak, but feeling pretty good,” Thornton said. “I talked to my wife for the first time and that was wonderful.” 

EAMC employees were there to see him move rooms and cheer him on.

Thornton’s advice to the public is to be careful.

“People need to follow the guideline,” he said. “This is a big deal.”

Case update

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 6:02 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 130 in Lee County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 133 confirmed cases in the county.

There are 102 confirmed cases in Chambers County, six in Macon County, 12 in Russell County and 33 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 2,197 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 461 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 42
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 8
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 2
  • Calhoun – 48
  • Chambers – 102
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 10
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 12
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 5
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 22
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 22
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 43
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Greene – 10
  • Hale – 7
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 25
  • Jackson – 18
  • Jefferson – 461
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 18
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 133
  • Limestone – 32
  • Lowndes – 8
  • Macon - 6
  • Madison – 150
  • Marengo - 14
  • Marion – 21
  • Marshall – 40
  • Mobile – 202
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 74
  • Morgan – 31
  • Pickens – 14
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 13
  • Russell – 12
  • Shelby – 159
  • St. Clair – 30
  • Sumter – 15
  • Talladega – 21
  • Tallapoosa – 33
  • Tuscaloosa – 79
  • Walker – 64
  • Washington – 7
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Chambers County

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 5:55 p.m.

Chambers County reported that another resident has died after contracting COVID-19 Tuesday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The county is reported that an eighth county resident has died after being diagnosed with the virus.

ADPH has confirmed seven of those deaths were due to the virus. The department hadn’t confirmed the death as of 5:55 p.m. Tuesday.

There are 64 reported deaths and 39 confirmed deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed seven deaths in Chambers County, three in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, five in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Macon County, two in Madison County, one in Marion County, one in Marshall County, six in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County.

Auburn Housing updates plans 

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 3:10 p.m.

Governor Kay Ivey put a shelter in place order that began Sunday at 5 p.m., which affects how Auburn University Housing will help students with move-out.

The university has announced that students will not be allowed to return to campus for belongings at this time. The housing office said that students who have already made travel plans can reach out with questions or to make arrangements.

Students should email the housing office at housing@auburn.edu.

Opelika HS rounding up scholarship forms Thursday

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2:26 p.m.

Opelika High School’s guidance staff will be in front of the school Thursday, 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., to collect completed scholarship applications and hand out new scholarship applications to students. Staffers will collect the completed applications, add transcripts as needed and mail them out.

All students must have recommendation letters included with their application packet or emailed to brittney.cahela@opelikaschools.org by 1 p.m. on Thursday for all scholarships with an April 15 deadline or prior deadline. 

All scholarship applications can be accessed on the OHS guidance web page. Students may scan and email all scholarship materials to brittney.cahela@opelikaschools.org if they are unable to drop them off Thursday.

Auburn water board extends bill deadlines

Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 1:55 p.m.

 The city Auburn's Water Works Board will continue waiving late fees or delinquent account fees through April 30. The board will not disrupt services for late payments during this period.

All inquiries may be made by calling the Utility Billing Office at 334-501-3050 or by emailing serviceorders@auburnalabama.org.

AWWB has two drive-thru lanes to accommodate customer needs. Operating hours are 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Customers can request changes to an account, pay a bill, check an account balance and view transaction history by visiting ubservices.auburnalabama.org.

Chambers County

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 1:21 p.m.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Chambers County topped 100 Tuesday afternoon, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 101 confirmed cases in Chambers County and 2,089 in Alabama, according to ADPH.

There are 122 confirmed cases in Lee County, five in Macon County, 11 in Russell County and 33 in Tallapoosa County.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 449 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 42
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 7
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 38
  • Chambers – 101
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 10
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 9
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 5
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 20
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 20
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 42
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Greene – 9
  • Hale – 6
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 24
  • Jackson – 18
  • Jefferson – 449
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 18
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 122
  • Limestone – 33
  • Lowndes – 7
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 149
  • Marengo - 13
  • Marion – 19
  • Marshall – 36
  • Mobile – 175
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 72
  • Morgan – 30
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 14
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 13
  • Russell – 11
  • Shelby – 154
  • St. Clair – 30
  • Sumter – 13
  • Talladega – 20
  • Tallapoosa – 33
  • Tuscaloosa – 75
  • Walker – 55
  • Washington – 6
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Local cases

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 11:58 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases topped 120 in Lee County as Chambers County inches closer to 100 cases, according to ADPH. 

There are 121 confirmed cases in Lee County and 99 in Chambers County.

The only counties with more cases than Chambers County are Jefferson, Lee, Madison, Mobile and Shelby counties, according to ADPH.

Chambers County has about 30 confirmed cases for every 10,000 people living in the county. Lee County, on the other hand, has about 7 confirmed cases for every 10,000 people living in the county.

Chambers County also has the second-highest number of deaths in state with seven, only behind Jefferson County, which has 11 reported deaths, according to ADPH.

There are five confirmed cases in Macon County, 10 in Russell County and 31 in Tallapoosa County.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 445 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 40
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 7
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 38
  • Chambers – 99
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 9
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 9
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 9
  • Covington - 5
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 20
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 20
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 42
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Greene – 8
  • Hale – 5
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 24
  • Jackson – 18
  • Jefferson – 445
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 121
  • Limestone – 33
  • Lowndes – 7
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 146
  • Marengo - 13
  • Marion – 19
  • Marshall – 34
  • Mobile – 175
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 71
  • Morgan – 30
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 13
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 13
  • Russell – 10
  • Shelby – 154
  • St. Clair – 30
  • Sumter – 11
  • Talladega – 20
  • Tallapoosa – 31
  • Tuscaloosa – 75
  • Walker – 55
  • Washington – 6
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Opelika parks

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 7:37 a.m.

Opelika has closed all of its city parks.

The parks will remain closed through April 30, according to the city.

Macon County

Update: Tuesday, April 7, 7:32 a.m.

Macon County reported its first death due to COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

ADPH confirmed Tuesday morning that the Macon County resident died from COVID-19.

There are 53 reported deaths and 39 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

ADPH has confirmed seven deaths in Chambers County, three in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, five in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Macon County, two in Madison County, one in Marion County, one in Marshall County, six in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County. 

EAMC update

Update: Monday, April 6, 6:17 p.m.

There are 56 patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) that either have COVID-19 or are suspected of having the virus, the hospital said Monday.

There are 34 patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 and 22 patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, EAMC said.

Twenty-six patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, added EAMC.

There are 17 patients hospitalized who were previously suspected of having the virus but have since tested negative.

Case update

Update: Monday, April 6, 5:32 p.m.

Alabama surpassed 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday night, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 2,006 confirmed cases in the state.

Cases in east Alabama counties also rose Monday. There are 96 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 118 in Lee County, five in Macon County, 10 in Russell County and 31 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 438 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 38
  • Barbour - 3
  • Bibb - 7
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 38
  • Chambers – 96
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 20
  • Choctaw – 6
  • Clarke – 9
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 9
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 8
  • Covington - 5
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 20
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 20
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 42
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 7
  • Greene – 8
  • Hale – 5
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 24
  • Jackson – 17
  • Jefferson – 438
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 118
  • Limestone – 33
  • Lowndes – 6
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 141
  • Marengo - 13
  • Marion – 19
  • Marshall – 34
  • Mobile – 148
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 71
  • Morgan – 30
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 13
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 12
  • Russell – 10
  • Shelby – 150
  • St. Clair – 31
  • Sumter – 10
  • Talladega – 20
  • Tallapoosa – 31
  • Tuscaloosa – 74
  • Walker – 54
  • Washington – 6
  • Wilcox – 13
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Nursing homes

Update: Monday, April 6, 4:15 p.m.

More than 30 Alabama nursing homes that are a part of the Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) have reported COVID-19 positive cases, the association said Monday.

There are 31 member nursing homes in 17 counties that have reported positive COVID-19 cases to ANHA. Those who have tested positive include residents, staff members or both at nursing homes in rural and urban locations, ANHA said.

“I predict the number of nursing homes with cases will grow as more tests are administered and the results are returned,” ANHA President & CE Brandon Farmer said. “As previously stated, the delays in receiving test kits and test results are beyond our control yet places our residents and employees at great risk.”

Opelika stores

Update: Monday, April 6, 3:32 p.m.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller signed an executive order Monday, which limits the number of customers at retail and grocery stores within the Opelika city limits.

Stores will be allowed to have no more than 20 percent of the stated fire capacity in the store at a time. Staff at the stores will be required to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store, the order said.

Stores must also clearly mark 6-foot spacing lines and other high-traffic areas. Stores may consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside, according to the order.

“We started monitoring and noticed that some stores were not taking action on their own," Fuller said. "Therefore, we determined that it was necessary to put some guidelines in place. Our primary objective is to keep our citizens safe, as well as the employees working in our retail and grocery stores.

"We have incredible merchants in Opelika and expect that they will fully cooperate with these requirements."

The order also says stores should consider limiting their capacity to 10 percent of the fire capacity at any time during exclusive shopping hours for high-risk community members.

The order goes into effect Wednesday at 7 a.m. and will stay in effect until Fuller rescinds it.

Violations of the order are punishable as a misdemeanor, the city said. 

Auburn City Council to convene remotely

Update: Monday, April 6, 3:30 p.m.

Auburn City Council will meet on Tuesday for its first remote meeting of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced a state-wide shelter-at-home order that began Sunday at 5 p.m. The Auburn City Council will meet remotely to help abide by this rule.

The last council meeting was held with social distancing and six feet distances. Council members sat below their typical dais with their desks spread apart. Chairs were covered with tape to make sure audience members did not sit too close together.

Citizens are invited to watch the zoom meeting here: https://www.auburnalabama.org/agenda/. Parts of the city council meeting are dedicated to citizen comment, which will still be enforced.

Anyone who wishes to discuss items on the agenda can do so by registering at this website: zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_N6-M-ZfwQpa7A8C9OG4Xcw.

Case update 

Update: Monday, April 6, 3:15 p.m.

Chambers County is reporting that a seventh county resident has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

ADPH has confirmed that five of those deaths were due to the virus. The department hadn’t confirmed the death as of 3 p.m. Monday. 

There are 50 reported deaths and 32 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

ADPH has confirmed five deaths in Chambers County, two in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, five in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Madison County, one in Marion County, five in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County. 

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed virus cases also rose. 

There are 94 confirmed cases in Chamber County, 117 in Lee County, five in Macon County, six in Russell County and 20 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,968 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 426 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 38
  • Barbour - 2
  • Bibb - 7
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 38
  • Chambers – 94
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 19
  • Choctaw – 5
  • Clarke – 9
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 9
  • Coffee – 8
  • Colbert – 7
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 8
  • Covington - 5
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 20
  • Dale – 4
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 42
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 6
  • Greene – 8
  • Hale – 4
  • Henry - 4
  • Houston – 23
  • Jackson – 17
  • Jefferson – 426
  • Lamar – 5
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 8
  • Lee – 117
  • Limestone – 33
  • Lowndes – 6
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 141
  • Marengo - 13
  • Marion – 19
  • Marshall – 34
  • Mobile – 143
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 71
  • Morgan – 29
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 12
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 12
  • Russell – 10
  • Shelby – 147
  • St. Clair – 31
  • Sumter – 8
  • Talladega – 20
  • Tallapoosa – 30
  • Tuscaloosa – 73
  • Walker – 54
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 12
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Opelika mayor agrees with Gov. Ivey 

Update: Monday, April 6, 12:25 p.m.

Opelika no longer has to strongly encourage people to stay at home - it’s been state mandated. 

“I applaud the governor for doing that,” Fuller said. “I appreciate her doing it. Mayor Anders and I have talked frequently in the last few days about if the state didn’t do it that there was a strong possibility that the city of Opelika and the city of Auburn would take that step.”

The state is mandating that those who can stay at home - do. Essential employees will still be out and about and residents can leave their homes for food, prescriptions and other essential business. 

“Now it’s going to be a matter of enforcement to stop that gathering of large groups,” Fuller said. 

Fuller said that many businesses in Opelika are going above and beyond the governor’s order. The stay at home resolution specifies that businesses, like grocery stores, should not allow in over 50 percent of capacity. 

The mayor said he believes that limiting patrons in these stores will help lower the number of COVID cases in the state. 

“They only way we can flatten this curve is to limit the number of people together and frankly, the problem we’ve been having the last several days are the number of people in these stores,” Fuller said.

Fuller encouraged residents of Opelika to be patient and understand that this is to help stop the spread of the disease. 

“I would ask [residents] just to think about it and let’s trust the health care professionals who have recommended this, who have urged action on it, that have pressed me and Mayor Anders to do this,” he said. 

Fuller said he has no right to question the health professionals, just as he has no right to question a football call by Gus Malzahn or Nick Saban. 

“We’ve got to trust our health care professionals and I do and I have a great deal of confidence in Laura Grill, the CEO at East Alabama Medical Center … the folks that are telling us that the way to flatten this curve is by social distancing,” he said. 

“And the more of that we do and the more successful we are at doing it, the sooner this will cease to be a major problem.”

Smiths Station

Update: Monday, April 6, 11:45 a.m.

The city of Smiths Station will impose an overnight curfew beginning tonight due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The curfew will be effective Monday at 10 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CT. The curfew is during the hours of 10 p.m. ET and 5 a.m. ET, the city said. 

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will enforce the curfew.

LifeSouth

Update: Monday, April 6, 10:30 a.m.

LifeSouth is looking for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma to help with the recovery of patients currently fighting the virus. 

LifeSouth is partnering with medical centers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia to collect plasma from COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the virus to transfuse to patients with the virus to help with recovery, the blood center said in a Monday news release. 

Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid in the blood that remains when red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are removed.  

Recovered COVID-19 patients, who were tested and found positive of the virus, can donate plasma if they have not had symptoms for at least 14 days and test negative by a lab, or after 28 days without symptoms with no follow-up testing required, LifeSouth said.

“The treatment is considered an investigational new drug by the FDA and collected donations will be sent to medical centers to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients,” the release reads. “The plasma contains antibodies that may help fight the virus.”

Potential donors should email medicaloffice@lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707.  

State cases rise

Update: Monday, April 6, 10:19 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 didn’t rise overnight in east Alabama counties, however, the number continues to grow throughout the state.

There are 1,852 confirmed cases, 32 confirmed deaths and 45 reported deaths in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 110 confirmed cases in Lee County, 90 in Chambers County, five in Macon County, 10 in Russell County and 30 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 418 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 34
  • Barbour - 2
  • Bibb - 7
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 24
  • Chambers – 90
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 18
  • Choctaw – 5
  • Clarke – 9
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 7
  • Coffee – 7
  • Colbert – 6
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 7
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 15
  • Dale – 2
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 36
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 6
  • Greene – 6
  • Hale – 3
  • Henry - 3
  • Houston – 20
  • Jackson – 14
  • Jefferson – 418
  • Lamar – 3
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 6
  • Lee – 110
  • Limestone – 32
  • Lowndes – 6
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 137
  • Marengo - 13
  • Marion – 19
  • Marshall – 26
  • Mobile – 128
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 71
  • Morgan – 27
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 12
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 11
  • Russell – 10
  • Shelby – 145
  • St. Clair – 28
  • Sumter – 7
  • Talladega – 20
  • Tallapoosa – 30
  • Tuscaloosa – 60
  • Walker – 49
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 12
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Opelika City Schools 

Update: Sunday, April 5, 6:32 p.m.

Opelika City Schools will continue to serve free student meals to all students age 18 and younger Monday through Friday.

The meals will be handed out at Carver Primary School and Opelika High School from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Opelika Learning Center, located at 214 Jeter Ave., will serve meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., the school system announced.

The distribution at the Opelika Learning Center will take place in the bus loop off of the Easy Street entrance.

Case update

Update: Sunday, April 5, 3:55 p.m.

Chambers County hit 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The only east Alabama county with more is Lee County, which has 110 confirmed cases.

There are five confirmed cases in Macon County, 10 in Russell County and 30 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,796 confirmed cases, 45 reported deaths and 31 confirmed deaths in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 416 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 33
  • Barbour - 2
  • Bibb - 5
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 24
  • Chambers – 90
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 17
  • Choctaw – 5
  • Clarke – 8
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 7
  • Coffee – 7
  • Colbert – 6
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 7
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 15
  • Dale – 2
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 14
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 3
  • Etowah – 35
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 6
  • Greene – 6
  • Hale – 3
  • Henry - 3
  • Houston – 18
  • Jackson – 14
  • Jefferson – 416
  • Lamar – 3
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 6
  • Lee – 110
  • Limestone – 32
  • Lowndes – 6
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 135
  • Marengo - 10
  • Marion – 17
  • Marshall – 22
  • Mobile – 127
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 68
  • Morgan – 27
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 12
  • Pike – 14
  • Randolph - 11
  • Russell – 10
  • Shelby – 141
  • St. Clair – 28
  • Sumter – 6
  • Talladega – 18
  • Tallapoosa – 30
  • Tuscaloosa – 46
  • Walker – 49
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 12
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Case update

Update: Sunday, April 5, 8:48 a.m.

Chambers County is reporting that another resident has died due to COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The county is reporting that six people have died after being diagnosed with the virus.

ADPH has confirmed that five of those deaths were due to the virus. The department hadn’t confirmed the death as of 8:45 a.m. Sunday. 

There are 45 reported deaths and 31 confirmed deaths in Alabama. 

ADPH has confirmed five deaths in Chambers County, two in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, four in Jefferson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Madison County, one in Marion County, five in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, one in Randolph County, five in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County. 

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed virus cases also rose overnight. 

There are 87 confirmed cases in Chamber County, 105 in Lee County, five in Macon County, six in Russell County and 20 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,666 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 398 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 29
  • Barbour - 2
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 21
  • Chambers – 87
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 15
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 7
  • Clay – 9
  • Cleburne – 7
  • Coffee – 7
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 6
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 15
  • Dale – 2
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 13
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 27
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 6
  • Greene – 5
  • Hale – 3
  • Henry - 2
  • Houston – 14
  • Jackson – 13
  • Jefferson – 398
  • Lamar – 3
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 4
  • Lee – 105
  • Limestone – 30
  • Lowndes – 4
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 127
  • Marengo - 8
  • Marion – 17
  • Marshall – 17
  • Mobile – 121
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 65
  • Morgan – 24
  • Perry – 1
  • Pickens – 12
  • Pike – 10
  • Randolph - 11
  • Russell – 6
  • Shelby – 127
  • St. Clair – 25
  • Sumter – 6
  • Talladega – 16
  • Tallapoosa – 20
  • Tuscaloosa – 44
  • Walker – 49
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 11
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Case update

Update: Saturday, April 4, 5:50 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose in east Alabama and the state throughout the day Saturday. 

There are now 102 confirmed cases in Lee County, 87 in Chambers County, five in Macon County, four in Russell County and 20 in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 1,614 confirmed cases, 26 confirmed deaths and 44 reported deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 373 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 29
  • Barbour - 2
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 10
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 21
  • Chambers – 87
  • Cherokee – 6
  • Chilton – 15
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 6
  • Clay – 8
  • Cleburne – 7
  • Coffee – 7
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 2
  • Coosa – 6
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 2
  • Cullman – 15
  • Dale – 2
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 13
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 26
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 6
  • Greene – 5
  • Hale – 3
  • Henry - 2
  • Houston – 14
  • Jackson – 12
  • Jefferson – 373
  • Lamar – 2
  • Lauderdale – 16
  • Lawrence – 4
  • Lee – 102
  • Limestone – 31
  • Lowndes – 3
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 125
  • Marengo - 8
  • Marion – 17
  • Marshall – 17
  • Mobile – 114
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 62
  • Morgan – 24
  • Pickens – 12
  • Pike – 10
  • Randolph - 11
  • Russell – 4
  • Shelby – 124
  • St. Clair – 25
  • Sumter – 6
  • Talladega – 16
  • Tallapoosa – 20
  • Tuscaloosa – 43
  • Walker – 49
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 11
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Store limits

Update: Saturday, April 4, 4:24 p.m.

Walmart and Lowe’s in Opelika began limiting the number of customers in their stores Saturday, the city of Opelika said.

Walmart will limit the number of customers to 1,098 in the store at any one time. There will be a waiting ling outside where shoppers can wait, six feet apart, to enter the store, Opelika said.

Lowe’s will limit customers to no more than 400 in shopping areas at one time and will have one entry point, added the city.

Local cases

Update: Saturday, April 4, 8:12 a.m.

Lee County now has 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County is the fifth county in the state to have at least 100 confirmed cases. Jefferson, Madison, Mobile and Shelby counties all have more than 100 confirmed cases, according to ADPH. 

There are 83 confirmed cases in Chambers County, five in Macon County, four in Russell County and 20 in Tallapoosa County.

ADPH also confirmed the fifth death due to COVID-19 in Chambers County Saturday.

There are 1,543 confirmed cases, 26 confirmed deaths and 41 reported deaths in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 369 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 28
  • Barbour - 1
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 9
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 21
  • Chambers – 83
  • Cherokee – 4
  • Chilton – 15
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 3
  • Clay – 8
  • Cleburne – 7
  • Coffee – 6
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 1
  • Coosa – 6
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 15
  • Dale – 1
  • Dallas - 7
  • DeKalb - 10
  • Elmore – 19
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 21
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 5
  • Greene – 5
  • Hale – 3
  • Henry - 2
  • Houston – 12
  • Jackson – 12
  • Jefferson – 369
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 14
  • Lawrence – 4
  • Lee – 100
  • Limestone – 30
  • Lowndes – 2
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 123
  • Marengo - 8
  • Marion – 16
  • Marshall – 16
  • Mobile – 104
  • Monroe - 5
  • Montgomery – 61
  • Morgan – 24
  • Pickens – 11
  • Pike – 10
  • Randolph - 10
  • Russell – 4
  • Shelby – 118
  • St. Clair – 24
  • Sumter – 7
  • Talladega – 12
  • Tallapoosa – 20
  • Tuscaloosa – 41
  • Walker – 49
  • Washington – 5
  • Wilcox – 6
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Mayor Ron Anders responds

Update: Friday, April 3, 6:24 p.m.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders was watching Gov. Kay Ivey’s shelter-at-home announcement, thinking about how it would affect his city.

The city is already preparing information for residents on how this will affect their daily lives.

“The tone of the request has changed now,” Anders said. “We have asked our citizens to conduct their life in a certain way of staying at home, keeping six feet between themselves and other people, to not be in larger groups of over ten.

"We’ve asked those things for you to do that. We’ve asked you to be mindful of your role in keeping your community healthy. Well, now the governor has told you.”

Essential businesses will remain open and essential employees will be allowed to travel as necessary. All others should abide by the stay-at-home order.

“[Gov. Ivey] said today that she believes that our state had not taken this seriously enough and that has put her in a situation that she has had to adopt a more stringent rule. From my point of view, I have made some very intentional requests of our community.”

Despite these pointed requests, Anders said that while most people seemed to have listened to the requests, not everyone has.

“This is going to be frustrating for some, it’s going to be cumbersome to some,” he said. “It is a removal of our liberties and our freedoms. But the reality is, we’re in a health crisis and for us to get past this health crisis we’ve got to take some stronger measures and I support the governor. She and her staff are doing what they feel like is in the best interest for Alabama.”

If Auburn residents want football in the fall and life as normal, this is necessary, Anders said.

“If we don’t, this is going to continue to linger as part of our lives and we’re going to continue to be fighting this and it’s going to impact all the things that we hold near and dear to our lives.”​

EAMC update

Update: Friday, April 3, 5:52 p.m.

There are 52 patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with either confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19, the hospital said Friday.

There are 32 patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 and 20 patients hospitalized that are suspected of having the virus, EAMC said.

Nineteen patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged and there are six patients hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 but have since tested negative, EAMC added.

Stay-at-home order

Update: Friday, April 3, 4:02 p.m. 

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that all Alabamians will be under a stay-at-home order beginning tomorrow at 5 p.m.

“We are past urging people to stay at home, it is now a law," Ivey said.

The order will expire April 30 at 5 p.m.

Ivey also noted that the order may help give residents football in the fall. 

“If you’re eager for fall football season coming up, well, what we’re doing today gives us a better chance to be able to do that as well," she said. 

There are limited exceptions to the order. Residents may continue to do essential activities outlined by the order as follows: 

  • Obtain necessary supplies
    • Food and other consumer goods necessary to maintain a person's daily routine or to maintain the safety, sanitation and routine operation of a home or residence
    • Supplies needed to work from home
    • Pharmaceutical prescriptions or other medical supplies
    • Fuel for automobiles or other vehicles or other vehicle supplies
    • Materials for distance learning or other education-related purposes
    • Any other supplies necessary to maintain a person's or pet's daily routine or two maintain the safety, sanitation and routine operation of a home or residence
  • Obtain or provide necessary services 
    • Dental, medical or surgical procedures allowed under paragraph 14 of this order
    • Government-funded services or benefits
    • Automobile repair services
    • Services vital to the treatment or care of people with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or people with substance-use disorders
    • Services related to any public or private distance learning activities and education continuity, including all services under education continuity plans approved by the State Superintendent of Education
    • Any other services necessary to maintain a person's or pet's daily routine or two maintain the safety, sanitation and routine operation of a home or residence
  • To attend religious services. May attend a religious worship service, wedding or funeral in either of the following circumstances:
    • The event involved fewer than 10 people and the people maintain a consistent six-foot distance from one another
    • The event is a "drive-in" worship service that adheres to the following rules:
      • All participants must remain in their vehicles for the whole service
      • The participants in each vehicle all share the same place of residence
      • Participants do not come within six feet of participants in other vehicles. 
  • To take care of others
  • To work
  • To engage in outdoor activity
  • To seek shelter
  • To travel as required by law
  • To see family members

Hazardous waste day

Update: Friday, April 3, 3:35 p.m.

The city of Auburn postponed its Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day scheduled for tomorrow out of an abundance of caution.

“Since the event includes participants traveling from adjacent states to collect and process materials, the event will be rescheduled for a later date after the COVID-19 situation has subsided,” a release from the city reads. 

Those who were planning to drop off materials are asked to hold onto them until the next event.

Auburn PSA

Update: Friday, April 3, 2:23 p.m.

By Auburn University

Special to the O-A News

Auburn University coaches Gus Malzahn, Bruce Pearl and Butch Thompson want you to join the team in the ongoing fight against coronavirus. The head coaches of Auburn football, basketball and baseball have launched a public service announcement that calls for “teamwork” in keeping one another safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the world of athletics, we know all too well the importance of teamwork in order to achieve a greater good. It’s imperative to use the same approach in our fight against the spread of COVID-19,” said Auburn Athletics Director Allen Greene.

In their PSA, Malzahn, Pearl and Thompson promote that message of teamwork by asking all to wash their hands often for 20 seconds, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and continue to practice social distancing 

“We must all rally as one in the fight against this virus,” said Auburn President Jay Gogue.

The PSA is being released by the university throughout the state and beyond as a unifying message that, in addition to promoting good hygiene, asks the public to “stay home, stop the spread and save lives.”

Case update

Update: Friday, April 3, 1:45 p.m.

Chambers County hit 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 97 confirmed cases in Lee County, five in Macon County, four in Russell County and 18 in Tallapoosa County. 

There are 1,414 confirmed cases, 21 confirmed deaths and 34 reported deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 345 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 26
  • Barbour - 1
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 8
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 16
  • Chambers – 80
  • Cherokee – 4
  • Chilton – 15
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 3
  • Clay – 8
  • Cleburne – 6
  • Coffee – 3
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 1
  • Coosa – 6
  • Covington - 4
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 14
  • Dale – 1
  • Dallas - 4
  • DeKalb - 10
  • Elmore – 18
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 15
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 4
  • Greene – 5
  • Hale - 3
  • Houston – 11
  • Jackson – 12
  • Jefferson – 345
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 13
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 97
  • Limestone – 26
  • Lowndes – 2
  • Macon - 5
  • Madison – 119
  • Marengo - 7
  • Marion – 13
  • Marshall – 15
  • Mobile – 84
  • Monroe - 4
  • Montgomery – 52
  • Morgan – 23
  • Pickens – 9
  • Pike – 10
  • Randolph - 9
  • Russell – 4
  • Shelby – 104
  • St. Clair – 22
  • Sumter – 7
  • Talladega – 11
  • Tallapoosa – 18
  • Tuscaloosa – 41
  • Walker – 48
  • Washington – 4
  • Wilcox – 5
  • Winston - 3 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Beauregard employee

Update: Friday, April 3, 12:45 p.m.

Lee County Schools was informed today that an employee assigned to Beauregard High School tested positive for COVID-19 in a test administered earlier this week.

“The employee was advised by the Alabama Department of Public Health to notify everyone that the employee may have come in contact with over the last two weeks,” according to a Friday press release from the school district. “Because Lee County Schools were closed on March 13, the employee has not been in school and is not believed to have been in contact with students or staff within the two week period before the test was administered.

“However, to keep the public fully informed Lee County parents and students have been notified of this positive test.”

The press release goes on to urge anyone experiencing fever, cough, body aches or shortness of breath to call their doctor or urgent care facility.  Any Lee County parent, student, faculty or staff member who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, is requested to e-mail Lee County Schools at cen.webmaster@lee.k12.al.us with that information.

ANHA testing

Update: Friday, April 3, 11:07 a.m.

Delays in testing are putting the lives of Alabama nursing home residents and employees at risk, the Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) said Friday in a statement.

“From listening to our members, we’ve become aware that there is an enormous volume of COVID-19 tests outstanding – at least more than 1,000,” ANHA President and CEO Brandon Farmer said in a statement. “Our members also report to us that they’re having difficulty even obtaining tests. The long delays in receiving tests and test results puts the lives of our residents and employees at risk.”

Nursing homes are listed at Priority 2 for COVID-19 testing according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Farmer said this classification must change.

“That must change. Our national organization, the American Health Care Association, has asked the CDC to elevate nursing homes to Priority 1,” Farmer said in a statement. “This makes sense because we care for people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19."

Alabama nursing homes are doing everything they can to care for their residents and keep them healthy, Farmer said, adding that the government needs to step up.

“The government needs to provide the resources they need to keep up this fight for life,” he said.

Opelika Municipal Court

Update: Friday, April 3, 10:15 a.m.

The Opelika Municipal Court has issued an extension to an emergency order put out on March 13.

The order now remains in effect until April 30 or until the Supreme Court of Alabama further orders related to COVID-19, the city announced Friday.

The court will reschedule all non-jail hearing previously scheduled March 16 - April 30. Court employees will be mailing continuance letters, the city said.

Only inmates who have not made bond will appear in court on their regularly scheduled date during this order but will keep the number of people in court at a minimum.

For more information, call 334-705-5196.

Case update

Update: Friday, April 3, 7:36 a.m. 

There are more than 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chambers County as Lee County inches closer to 100 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 74 confirmed cases in Chambers County and 96 in Lee County.

Chambers County is also reporting the fifth death of a county resident who tested positive for the virus, according to the health department.

The death has not been confirmed by ADPH as of 7:35 a.m. Friday.

A third case of the virus also was confirmed Friday morning in Russell County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,315 confirmed cases, 21 confirmed deaths and 34 reported deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

ADPH has confirmed four deaths in Chambers County, one in Etowah County, one in Jackson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Madison County, one in Marion County, four in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, three in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County.

A reported death accounts for those who died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. For the death to be added to the “died from illness” county, ADPH must review the person’s file and confirmed that the person died because of COVID-19.

The following counties are reporting deaths: 

  • Baldwin – 1
  • Chambers – 5
  • Cullman – 1
  • Etowah – 1
  • Houston – 1
  • Jackson – 1
  • Jefferson – 5
  • Lauderdale – 2
  • Lee – 3
  • Madison – 1
  • Marion – 2
  • Mobile – 5
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Shelby – 3
  • Tallapoosa – 1
  • Washington – 1

For more information visit, http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state with 332 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 12
  • Baldwin – 26
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 7
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 12
  • Chambers – 74
  • Cherokee – 4
  • Chilton – 14
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 2
  • Clay – 7
  • Cleburne – 6
  • Coffee – 3
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 1
  • Coosa – 6
  • Covington - 3
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 9
  • Dale – 1
  • Dallas - 4
  • DeKalb - 8
  • Elmore – 17
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 14
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 4
  • Greene – 5
  • Hale - 3
  • Houston – 9
  • Jackson – 12
  • Jefferson – 332
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 13
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 96
  • Limestone – 26
  • Lowndes – 2
  • Macon - 4
  • Madison – 117
  • Marengo - 7
  • Marion – 11
  • Marshall – 8
  • Mobile – 71
  • Monroe - 3
  • Montgomery – 49
  • Morgan – 23
  • Pickens – 9
  • Pike – 7
  • Randolph - 7
  • Russell – 3
  • Shelby – 103
  • St. Clair – 20
  • Sumter – 7
  • Talladega – 8
  • Tallapoosa – 17
  • Tuscaloosa – 39
  • Walker – 36
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 5
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Food Bank to hold distribution 

Update: Thursday, April 2, 4:03 p.m. 

The Food Bank of East Alabama will be hosting a food distribution on Saturday at 2 p.m., the food bank announced on its Facebook.

The drive-through distribution will consist of perishable items, fruits and vegetables, for those in need in the community, the post said. 

The distribution will not require reservations and the distribution will be based on  first-come, first-serve. 

Attendants should not exit their vehicles, the post said. Questions can be directed to the food bank at 334-821-9006.

The food bank is located at 355 Industry Drive in Auburn.

Case update

Update: Thursday, April 2, 3:48 p.m.

Lee County has surpassed 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 91 confirmed cases in Lee County.

Chambers County also is nearing 70 confirmed cases. The county now has 67 confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

There are 1,233 confirmed cases in Alabama.

The third case of the virus was also confirmed in Macon County Thursday. There are two confirmed cases in Russell County and 17 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 314 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 10
  • Baldwin – 24
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 6
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 12
  • Chambers – 67
  • Cherokee – 4
  • Chilton – 14
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 2
  • Clay – 6
  • Cleburne – 6
  • Coffee – 1
  • Colbert – 5
  • Conecuh – 1
  • Coosa – 5
  • Covington - 3
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 9
  • Dale – 1
  • Dallas - 4
  • DeKalb - 8
  • Elmore – 17
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 13
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 4
  • Greene – 4
  • Hale - 1
  • Houston – 9
  • Jackson – 9
  • Jefferson – 314
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 14
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 91
  • Limestone – 25
  • Lowndes – 2
  • Macon - 3
  • Madison – 114
  • Marengo - 5
  • Marion – 11
  • Marshall – 6
  • Mobile – 67
  • Monroe - 3
  • Montgomery – 45
  • Morgan – 21
  • Pickens – 9
  • Pike – 7
  • Randolph - 6
  • Russell – 2
  • Shelby – 98
  • St. Clair – 19
  • Sumter – 4
  • Talladega – 8
  • Tallapoosa – 17
  • Tuscaloosa – 34
  • Walker – 34
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 5
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Case update

Update: Thursday, April 2, 12:35 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed in Chambers County Thursday.

Chambers County now has 62 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

That’s an increase of 14 cases since Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Lee County is closing in on 90 confirmed cases. The county has 88 confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

There are two confirmed cases in Macon County, two in Russell County and 15 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,179 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 310 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 10
  • Baldwin – 24
  • Bibb - 4
  • Blount – 6
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 12
  • Chambers – 62
  • Cherokee – 3
  • Chilton – 14
  • Choctaw – 4
  • Clarke – 2
  • Clay – 4
  • Cleburne – 6
  • Colbert – 4
  • Conecuh – 1
  • Coosa – 5
  • Covington - 3
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 9
  • Dale – 1
  • Dallas - 4
  • DeKalb - 7
  • Elmore – 17
  • Escambia - 2
  • Etowah – 11
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene – 4
  • Hale - 1
  • Houston – 9
  • Jackson – 8
  • Jefferson – 310
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 13
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 88
  • Limestone – 25
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 2
  • Madison – 109
  • Marengo - 5
  • Marion – 11
  • Marshall – 6
  • Mobile – 61
  • Monroe - 3
  • Montgomery – 40
  • Morgan – 20
  • Pickens – 7
  • Pike – 7
  • Randolph - 6
  • Russell – 2
  • Shelby – 95
  • St. Clair – 19
  • Sumter – 4
  • Talladega – 8
  • Tallapoosa – 15
  • Tuscaloosa – 32
  • Walker – 33
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 3
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

Lee County Boys and Girls Club

Update: Thursday, April 2, 12:20 p.m. 

The Lee County Boys and Girls Club will soon be transitioning to a remote environment so children can still experience the club. 

"Not even COVID-19 can keep us down," the Boys and Girls Club announced on Facebook. "We’re going virtual so you can experience our Boys & Girls Club from the comfort of your own home! More details coming soon but until then visit us online at www.bgcglc.org for more updates on how we are continuing to serve our community and how YOU can get involved."

Death count

Update: Thursday, April 2, 11:55 a.m.

Lee County is reporting that a third resident has died after being diagnosed with coronavirus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

ADPH has not confirmed the death as of 11:50 a.m. Thursday. No other information regarding the death was made available.

“Reported Deaths and Died From Illness on the dashboard represent the number of individuals who have a positive lab result and are now deceased,” ADPH explains on its website. “To count a person who died from COVID-19 disease, the medical record of the deceased person has to be reviewed by a physician and Infectious Disease and Outbreak staff. Once review is complete, if the death is attributed to COVID-19, the individual will also appear in the Died From Illness on the dashboard.”

The health department has confirmed two deaths in Lee County.

There are 86 confirmed cases of the virus in Lee County, according to ADPH. 

ADPH has confirmed four deaths in Chambers County, one in Jackson County, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Madison County, three in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, two in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County.

There are 32 reported deaths in Alabama, according to ADPH.

The following counties are reporting deaths: 

  • Baldwin – 1
  • Chambers – 4
  • Cullman – 1
  • Etowah – 1
  • Houston – 1
  • Jackson – 1
  • Jefferson – 5
  • Lauderdale – 2
  • Lee – 3
  • Madison – 1
  • Marion – 2
  • Mobile – 4
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Shelby – 3
  • Tallapoosa – 1
  • Washington – 1

For more information visit, http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Case update

Update: Thursday, April 2, 8:12 a.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed the second case of COVID-19 in Russell County as cases continue to rise throughout the state.

The second case in Russell County was confirmed Thursday morning, according to ADPH. 

There are now 48 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 85 in Lee County, two in Macon County and 14 in Tallapoosa County.

There are 1,115 confirmed cases in Alabama and 17 confirmed deaths due to the virus.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 305 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 10
  • Baldwin – 23
  • Bibb - 3
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 11
  • Chambers – 48
  • Cherokee – 2
  • Chilton – 13
  • Choctaw - 4
  • 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 – 60
  • 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 figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7

EAMC update

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 5:40 p.m.

There are 42 patients who either have COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC), the hospital said Wednesday.

There are 30 patients with confirmed COVID-19 hospitalized and 12 patients suspected of having COVID-19 that are hospitalized, EAMC said.

Sixteen patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 been discharged.

Also, 20 patients who are hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since tested negative for the virus, EAMC added.

Local cases

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 5:30 p.m.

The second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Macon County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Cases also rose throughout the day Wednesday in other east Alabama counties.

There are now 45 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 83 in Lee County, one in Russell County and 14 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 1,105 confirmed cases in the state, 28 reported deaths and 17 confirmed deaths, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 302 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 10
  • Baldwin – 23
  • Bibb - 3
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 11
  • Chambers – 45
  • 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 – 302
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 83
  • Limestone – 23
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 2
  • Madison – 107
  • Marengo - 5
  • Marion – 11
  • Marshall – 6
  • Mobile – 57
  • Monroe - 3
  • Montgomery – 35
  • Morgan – 19
  • Pickens – 4
  • Pike – 7
  • Randolph - 5
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 89
  • St. Clair – 19
  • Sumter – 3
  • Talladega – 8
  • Tallapoosa – 14
  • Tuscaloosa – 30
  • Walker – 32
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 3
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Small business relief 

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 3:40 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey is urging all small business owners in the state to take steps now to ensure their business will withstand the troubling economy.

Small businesses owner need to contact their local banker, accountant, financial advisor or credit union today to get the latest information about who is eligible, what documents are needed and how best to apply for funding relief caused by the coronavirus, Ivey said in a Wednesday news release.

“This coronavirus has disrupted life as we know it, including the critical economic role played by Alabama small businesses,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “Only a few short weeks ago, our economy was the strongest it had been in the past 100 years due to the hard work and entrepreneurship of Alabama Small Business Owners. We need our businesses up and running and back at full employment as soon as possible. I urge business owners to act today and be prepared to apply for assistance designed specifically to get them in front of the line when relief checks are written.”

More information and final guideline for how the federal government will distribute financial relief to Alabama’s small businesses will be made available soon, the release said.

Attached is information from the SBA that will provide more information.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s website provides specific information regarding the resources being made available related to Coronavirus relief, including initial guidance.

Under the section entitled Assistance for Small Businesses, there are four links entitled:

This is preliminary information and additional guidance is expected.

Local case increase

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 1:06 p.m.

Lee County now has more than 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Chambers County has more than 40 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 81 confirmed cases in Lee County, up from the 75 confirmed cases as of Tuesday night. 

Chambers County is up to 42 confirmed cases, a six case increase from Tuesday night, according to ADPH.

There are now 1,060 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 292 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 8
  • Baldwin – 20
  • Bibb - 3
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 11
  • Chambers – 42
  • Cherokee – 2
  • Chilton – 13
  • Choctaw - 4
  • Clay – 2
  • Cleburne – 6
  • Colbert – 4
  • Coosa – 4
  • Covington - 3
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 9
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 5
  • Elmore – 14
  • Escambia - 1
  • Etowah – 10
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene – 4
  • Hale - 1
  • Houston – 8
  • Jackson – 8
  • Jefferson – 292
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 81
  • Limestone – 23
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 1
  • Madison – 105
  • Marengo - 4
  • Marion – 9
  • Marshall – 6
  • Mobile – 56
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 35
  • Morgan – 19
  • Pickens – 4
  • Pike – 5
  • Randolph - 5
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 88
  • St. Clair – 18
  • Sumter – 2
  • Talladega – 7
  • Tallapoosa – 13
  • Tuscaloosa – 30
  • Walker – 32
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 3
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Opelika City Council

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 12:05 p.m.

The city of Opelika plans to hold its city council meeting next week as scheduled, however, there will be no citizen communications or public hearings, the city said Wednesday.

The meeting can be watched via live stream on Facebook by going to https://www.facebook.com/cityofopelika/

The following people will be the only people allowed at the meeting by the city: 

  • Council President Eddie Smith
  • Council Pro-tem Patsy Jones
  • Councilwoman Tiffany Gibson-Pitts
  • Councilman Dozier Smith T
  • Councilman David Cannon
  • Mayor Gary Fuller
  • City Attorney Guy Gunter
  • City Administrator Joey Motley
  • City Clerk Russell Jones
  • Community Relations Officer Leigh Krehling

The change is due to Gov. Kay Ivey’s order by prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding,” Eddie Smith said. “These are unchartered waters for all of us and we are doing everything we can to maintain continuity of services and keep things running as smoothly as possible.”

In addition, the following meetings have been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date:

  • CDBG Public Hearing #1 – April 6
  • CDBG Public Hearing #2 - April 8
  • Historic Preservation Commission – April 9
  • Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library Board – April 13
  • Zoning Board of Adjustments – April 14
  • Parks & Recreation Board – April 14

1,000 cases

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 9:36 a.m.

There are now 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama and 17 confirmed deaths, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 75 confirmed cases in Lee County, 36 in Chambers County, one in Macon County, one in Russell County and 13 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 282 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Hale - 1
  • 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
  • Shelby – 86
  • St. Clair – 15
  • Sumter – 1
  • Talladega – 7
  • Tallapoosa – 13
  • Tuscaloosa – 30
  • Walker – 32
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 3
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Death count rises

Update: Wednesday, April 1, 8:08 a.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed 17 deaths and nearly 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

ADPH is reporting four deaths in Chambers County, one in Jackson County, on in Jefferson, one in Lauderdale County, two in Lee County, one in Madison County, two in Mobile County, one in Montgomery County, two in Shelby County, one in Tallapoosa County and one in Washington County. 

There are 999 confirmed cases of the virus in the state. 

There are 75 confirmed cases in Lee County, 36 in Chambers County, one in Macon County, one in Russell County and 13 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 282 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Hale - 1
  • 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
  • Shelby – 86
  • St. Clair – 15
  • Sumter – 1
  • Talladega – 7
  • Tallapoosa – 13
  • Tuscaloosa – 29
  • Walker – 32
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 3
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Gulf Shores cancels Hangout Music Festival

Update: Tuesday, March 31, 5 p.m.

A popular Alabama beach music festival has been canceled due to COVID-19.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft and the city council unanimously passed a resolution during a special council meeting to cancel the 2020 Hangout Music Festival, the city announced Tuesday.

“Our decision to cancel the event wasn’t taken lightly, but we are confident we have made the right decision for the health and safety of our community,” said Craft. “We have been monitoring the situation for a number of weeks to better understand the spread of COVID-19 and the public health conditions we could expect in mid-May so that we could make the most informed decision to protect everyone involved.”

Hangout Music Festival organizers posted to social media that they were notified Tuesday that the festival was unable to take place in May due to the virus.

“After our fastest sellout ever, and what was shaping up to be a banner year on the beach, we are gutted that this is the outcome for all of you, but agree that this is the right decision for the health and safety of everyone involved,” Hangout wrote in a statement.

Hangout Festival organizers added that they are exploring all options for a rescheduled festival.

The festival was set to take place May 15 – 17. Festival organizers say refunds will be made available.

“We will make another announcement within a couple weeks with more information, including the transfer & refund process,” the statement reads.

Opelika Giving Day pushed to June 3

Update: Tuesday, March 31, 1:11 p.m.

The Community Foundation of East Alabama has rescheduled its second annual Opelika Giving Day for June 3, and extended its application period for nonprofits to participate until April 15.

“In light of the economic circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, we want to make sure Opelika Giving Day is successful for the nonprofits participating, while still being good stewards of our community and understanding the impact that everyone is experiencing,” said Todd Rauch, foundation vice president, in a Tuesday press release.

Opelika Giving Day is a 24-hour online fundraising challenge to support non-profits in Opelika. The event raised over $30,000 for 10 different nonprofits throughout Opelika.

To fill out an application for Opelika Giving Day, visit www.opelikagivingday.org or @opelikagivingday on Facebook.

For more information, visit www.opelikagivingday.org, or email info@opelikagivingday.org. Follow Opelika Giving Day on Facebook, and Instagram for the latest news.

Lee County Commission closes county buildings 

Update: Tuesday, March 31, 12:15 p.m.

Lee County buildings, facilities and services will no longer be open to the public beginning 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Lee County Commission voted on the closures Monday night after a lot of debate. The commission voted to declare a state of emergency in Lee County and closed the courthouse and other county buildings.

The past couple of weeks the courthouse has been open to the public but with limited access. Additionally, an officer with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department has been posted by the doors to monitor access.

County Administrator Roger Rendleman said that right now 15 percent of employees are out due to the coronavirus or similar complications, such as not having childcare.

Rendleman has been present on some of East Alabama Medical Center’s calls and said that while the hospital is doing well for now, a big wave is coming soon.

Although the courthouse will close to the public at 5 p.m., business can be conducted online and over the phone.

The resolution that was passed also said that if the situation changes or worsens, the county administrator or the Chairman can decide to close the courthouse to staff as well.

Remember Auburn's leash law

Update: Tuesday, March 31, 11:53 a.m.

Auburn city officials want to remind dog owners to keep their dogs “under restraint at all times” for the safety of both the dog and the community

Dogs may be allowed off-leash at Auburn's dog parks, including Kiesel Park and Town Creek Park, only if the dog is “under immediate and effective voice control” of their owners. Dogs who are not voice trained should be kept leashed for their safety and for the safety of those around it.

All gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited at all City of Auburn parks through April 30, and all park visitors should remain at least 6 feet apart. All City playgrounds are closed through April 30, including the playground at Town Creek Park.

ADVA case

Update: Tuesday, March 31, 11:50 a.m.

A staff member of an Alabama state veterans home tested positive for COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) announced Tuesday.

The staff member was employed at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City. The staffer was not allowed to enter the home after exhibiting a slightly elevated temperature at a screening station at the entrance to the facility on Thursday, ADVA said.

The employee was referred for further testing by an external facility. The test came back positive for the virus. The employee is expected to make a full recovery.

The staffer had not been in the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home since March 23, ADVA said.

“We are taking every precautionary step to protect the health and well-being of our veterans and employees,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “All of the Alabama state veterans homes are closely following the CDC guidelines for screening symptoms of COVID-19 and taking immediate action. Our meticulous HMR staff, our veterans, and supportive families are all in this together and we look forward to the successful completion of this fight for those who fought for us.”

“The fact that our screening procedures identified this particular staff member before entry into the facility is hopefully a testament to the effectiveness of our precautionary steps.”

AuburnBank

Update: Monday, March 30, 7:26 p.m.

An employee at the AuburnBank Bent Creek branch has tested positive for COVID-19, the bank announced Monday.

AuburnBank is temporarily closing the Bent Creek as a precautionary measure. All bank employees who have been in direct contact with the affected employee have been asked to self-quarantine by staying home for the next 14 days, said AuburnBank.

The Bent Creek branch will undergo deep cleaning in accordance with public health guidelines, AuburnBank said.

The decision on when to reopen the Bent Creek branch will be made in consultation with public health officials, the bank added.

The AuburnBank Bent Creek branch is located at 2315 Bent Creek Rd., Auburn.

Local cases

Update: Monday, March 30, 6:15 p.m.

East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) is reporting a seventh death due to coronavirus.

The death marks the fifth fatality of a Chambers County resident due to the virus since Friday. The hospital is also reporting two deaths of Lee County residents.

There are 20 patients hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed COVID-19. Seven patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, EAMC said.

There are 31 patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19. Twenty-five patients currently hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since tested negative, EAMC added.

City of Auburn

Update: Monday, March 30, 5:55 p.m.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and City Manager Jim Buston have extended the city of Auburn’s state of local emergency through April 30 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the city announced Monday.

The city is encouraging its residents to follow the following guidelines as well as comply with orders from the governor and state health officials:

  • All non-essential and non-emergency travel is strongly discouraged between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Non-work-related public and private gatherings of 10 people or more or non-work-related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited through April 17, per a public health order from the state.
  • Non-work-related public and private gatherings of 10 people or more or non-work-related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are strongly discouraged through April 30, per the state of local emergency resolution.
  • Businesses that remain open are strongly encouraged to limit numbers of patrons such that the six-foot social distancing standard can be maintained.

The following closures and cancellations have also been extended through April 30:

  • All city buildings are closed to the public through April 30. The city remains operationally open, maintaining regular services supported by the city’s dedicated staff members.
  • All Parks and Recreation programs and events have been canceled through April 30, including Auburn CityFest, the Auburn CityFest Juried Art Show and Preview Reception.
  • All city of Auburn playgrounds, the Auburn/Opelika Skate Park, the bocce ball court at Martin Luther King Park, the Yarbrough Tennis Center, the Samford Tennis Courts, the outdoor basketball courts at Boykin Community Center and Frank Brown Recreation Center are closed through April 30.
  • All reservations for gatherings of more than 10 people at city parks through April 30 will be notified by staff.
  • The Auburn Public Library will remain closed through April 30 and will continue to operate as a resource center for residents looking for information and assistance. All library programs and events have been canceled through April 30. Due dates for items that are currently borrowed from the library have been extended through April 30. Patrons may use the drive-up and walk-up return slots, if they wish to return an item before the library reopens. Patrons can access the library’s extensive collection of online resources—including eBooks, video streaming, digital magazines and more—at auburnalabama.org/library/online-resources.
  • All in-court proceedings at the Auburn Municipal Court have been suspended through April 30.

Mayor Anders has also postponed all Auburn 2040 efforts until further notice.

Local cases

Update: Monday, March 30, 3:58 p.m.

There are now 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and more than 900 in Alabama.

There are 907 confirmed cases in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Confirmed cases also rose in other east Alabama counties Monday. 

There are 33 confirmed cases in Chambers County, one in Macon County, one in Russell County and 11 in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 253 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 17
  • Bibb - 2
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 7
  • Chambers – 33
  • Cherokee – 2
  • Chilton – 10
  • Choctaw - 2
  • Clay – 2
  • Cleburne – 5
  • Colbert – 4
  • Coosa – 3
  • Covington - 2
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 7
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 4
  • Elmore – 13
  • Escambia - 1
  • Etowah – 6
  • Fayette - 1
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene – 3
  • Hale - 1
  • Houston – 9
  • Jackson – 5
  • Jefferson – 253
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 70
  • Limestone – 19
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 1
  • Madison – 89
  • Marengo - 5
  • Marion – 9
  • Marshall – 6
  • Mobile – 43
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 26
  • Morgan – 18
  • Pickens – 3
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 84
  • St. Clair – 14
  • Talladega – 6
  • Tallapoosa – 11
  • Tuscaloosa – 26
  • Walker – 31
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

ADPH employee

Update: Monday, March 30, 3:57 p.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) confirmed the first case of COIVD-19 in an ADPH employee who works at the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories in Montgomery, the department announced Monday.

Laboratory testing confirmed the diagnosis.

The patient had no public interaction on the job and was not working on COVID-19 testing, ADPH said.

“The employee and staff working in close contact with the employee have been sent home for isolation,” ADPH said in a news release. “In addition to the area where the employee worked, the entire building is being cleaned and disinfected according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations.”

Opelika closures

Update: Monday, March 30,  3:45 p.m.

The city of Opelika is extending its building closures until April 17, the city announced Monday afternoon. 

The city will reevaluate the situation by April 16.

Opelika encourages residents who think they have symptoms of COVID-119 to call the 334-528-SICK hotline instead of call 911. 

Opelika is also joining with East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) in asking that area church members to not gather until Lee County has been deemed safe for group activities.

“In addition, we are asking that funeral homes work with families during this time to possibly delay funeral services,” a release from Opelika reads. “This is another place where due to sadness and need for consolation, people tend to come in close contact with one another.” 

Opelika will be locking the outdoor basketball courts at Covington Rec and Bandy Park until it is deemed safe for recreation.

Local cases

Update: Monday, March 30, 11:45 a.m.

There are now 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Confirmed cases also rose in other east Alabama counties overnight. 

There are 28 confirmed cases in Chambers County, one in Macon County, one in Russell County and eight in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

There are 837 confirmed cases in Alabama.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 249 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 15
  • Bibb - 1
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 3
  • Chambers – 28
  • Cherokee – 2
  • Chilton – 8
  • 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 – 249
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 60
  • Limestone – 16
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 1
  • Madison – 79
  • Marengo - 5
  • Marion – 10
  • Marshall – 5
  • Mobile – 43
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 22
  • Morgan – 17
  • Pickens – 2
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 77
  • St. Clair – 13
  • Talladega – 5
  • Tallapoosa – 8
  • Tuscaloosa – 23
  • Walker – 30
  • Washington – 4
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Tallapoosa County

Update: Monday, March 30, 10:33 a.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is reporting one death in Tallapoosa County due to COVID-19. 

The health department provided no further information on the death. 

ADPH is reporting six deaths associated with the virus.

Major disaster

Update: Monday, March 30, 9 a.m.

President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster exists in Alabama on Sunday and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House said in a news release.

“Federal funding is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Alabama impacted by COVID-19,” the release reads.

“Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Gracia B. Szczech as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.” 

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further assessments, the White House added.

EAMC death

Update: Sunday, march 29, 4:45 p.m.

A sixth East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) patient died during the weekend due to complications brought on by COVID-19, the hospital announced Sunday.

Four of the six deaths were from Chambers County and two were from Lee County, EAMC said.

Only one of the Chambers County deaths was reflected on the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) website as of 3 p.m. Sunday because there is an official process that ADPH must complete before adding to the COVID-19 state death count, EAMC said.

There are 22 patients hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed COVID-19. Five patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, EAMC said.

Twenty-three patients are hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 and 25 patients currently hospitalized who were previously suspected of COIVD-19 have tested negative for the virus, EAMC said.

Local cases

Update: Sunday, March 29, 4:13 p.m.

The first case of COVID-19 in Macon County has been confirmed as cases continue to rise throughout east Alabama and the state.

The case was confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Sunday.

There are 59 confirmed cases in Lee County, 27 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and eight in Tallapoosa County.

There are 820 confirmed cases in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 247 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 14
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 3
  • Chambers – 27
  • Cherokee – 2
  • Chilton – 7
  • Choctaw - 1
  • Clay – 2
  • Cleburne – 5
  • Colbert – 2
  • Coosa – 2
  • Covington - 2
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 7
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 4
  • Elmore – 13
  • Escambia - 1
  • Etowah - 6
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 3
  • Houston – 6
  • Jackson – 5
  • Jefferson – 247
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 59
  • Limestone – 16
  • Lowndes – 1
  • Macon - 1
  • Madison – 77
  • Marengo - 4
  • Marion – 10
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 40
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 21
  • Morgan – 17
  • Pickens – 2
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 79
  • St. Clair – 13
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 8
  • Tuscaloosa – 23
  • Walker – 29
  • Washington – 4
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Apple donation

Update: Sunday, March 29, 9:03 a.m.

Apple donated about 63,000 N-95 masks to Alabama to help fight the coronavirus, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Saturday.

Ivey thanked Apple CEO and Auburn alumnus Tim Cook for the donation in a Tweet.

Cases

Update: Sunday, March 29, 8:46 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to more than 20 in Chambers County overnight, while Lee County is closing in on 60 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 23 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 59 in Lee County, one in Russell County and eight in Tallapoosa County.

There are 760 confirmed cases in Alabama, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 214 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 14
  • Blount – 5
  • Bullock - 3
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 3
  • Chambers – 23
  • Cherokee – 1
  • Chilton – 7
  • Choctaw - 1
  • Clay – 2
  • Cleburne – 4
  • Colbert – 2
  • Coosa – 2
  • Covington - 2
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 7
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 4
  • Elmore – 13
  • Escambia - 1
  • Etowah - 6
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 3
  • Houston – 5
  • Jackson – 5
  • Jefferson – 214
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 12
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 59
  • Limestone – 16
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 71
  • Marengo - 4
  • Marion – 9
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 37
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 18
  • Montgomery - 20
  • Morgan – 17
  • Pickens – 2
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 73
  • St. Clair – 12
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 8
  • Tuscaloosa – 23
  • Walker – 29
  • Washington – 3
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Deaths

Update: Saturday, March 28, 6:28 p.m.

Five people have died in Lee County due to the coronavirus as of 3:15 p.m. 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.

As of 5 p.m., the death total is 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 adds that “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.

Case update

Update: Saturday, March 28, 6:15 p.m.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama surpassed 700 Saturday.

There are 712 confirmed cases in Alabama as of 6:40 p.m. Saturday, according to the ADPH.

There are now 56 confirmed cases in Lee County, 17 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and five in Tallapoosa County as of 6:40 p.m. Saturday, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 206 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Shelby – 72
  • St. Clair – 10
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 5
  • Tuscaloosa – 23
  • Walker – 28
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Local, state cases

Update: Saturday, March 28, 3:48 p.m.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama is nearing 700.

There are 696 confirmed cases in Alabama and cases in east Alabama are also rising, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 56 confirmed cases in Lee County, 17 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and five in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 195 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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 – 12
  • Escambia - 1
  • Etowah - 6
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 3
  • Houston – 4
  • Jackson – 5
  • Jefferson – 195
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 13
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 56
  • Limestone – 16
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 62
  • Marengo - 3
  • Marion – 9
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 30
  • Monroe - 1
  • Montgomery – 18
  • Morgan – 15
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 72
  • St. Clair – 11
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 5
  • Tuscaloosa – 22
  • Walker – 28
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

War hero Bennie Adkins still fighting

Update: Saturday, March 28, 2 p.m.

Medal of Honor recipient and Opelika resident Bennie Adkins remains stable in critical condition at East Alabama Medical Center, his family said on Saturday.

Adkins, 86, a Vietnam war hero and author of the book, "A Tiger Among Us," went into respiratory arrest and was placed on a ventilator Thursday while suffering from the coronavirus COVID-19.

The family continues to request prayers, and has expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support.

Local cases

Update: Saturday, March 28, 10:01 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in Lee County and throughout the state.

There are now 53 confirmed cases in Lee County, 15 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and five in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 644 confirmed cases in Alabama. Three deaths have been reported.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in Lee County and throughout the state.

There are now 53 confirmed cases in Lee County, 15 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and five in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 644 confirmed cases in Alabama. Three deaths have been reported.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 179 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Shelby – 70
  • St. Clair – 9
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 5
  • Tuscaloosa – 22
  • Walker – 24
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Auburn City Schools announces online plan 

Update: Friday, March 27, 6:45 p.m.

Auburn City Schools has developed a plan to begin distance learning on April 6 in accordance with Gov. Kay Ivey’s announcement yesterday that no public schools will return to classes this school year. 

“Although students will not return to their school building, Auburn City Schools will implement a distance learning plan for all students beginning April 6, 2020,” according to a letter from Superintendent Cristen Herring Friday evening. 

“In an effort to ensure success, the school system has designed the week of March 30-April 3 as a practice week of distance learning to help both teachers and families uncover and solve as many obstacles related to distance learning as possible.”

Although there are only six weeks of school left, and the term will end March 15, objectives and goals have been set for the period, Herring said. 

“An important goal is finding the appropriate balance between the distance learning workload and necessary mastery for the next level of learning,” she said. 

Teachers will begin reaching out on Sunday, March 29, Herring said, to discuss course plans and the week of practice for the remote learning. 

There will be assessments and checkpoints each week as well. 

“Educators are working diligently to make this transition as meaningful and relevant for learning as possible,” Herring said. “While the above plan communicates an instructional approach to the current health crisis, we are mindful that the health and safety, both physical and emotional, of students and families are most important right now. 

Auburn City Schools is committed to an instructional partnership and to making this plan work for our students.”

The week of May 18-22 will be set aside for the makeup of any work, missed assignments and turning in school property, Herring added. 

“With gratitude for your unwavering support, we wish to express our appreciation for your assistance in implementing the ACS distancing learning plan,” Herring said. “It is our hope that students will acquire important life skills such as adaptability, perseverance, and problem solving in addition to the critical content for their subjects and courses.

 Please know that our teachers, counselors, and administrative team stand ready to assist as we work together to complete our 2019-2020 school year.”

Local cases

Update: Friday, March 27, 5:50 p.m.

There are more than 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Lee County has 51 confirmed cases of the virus, up from Thursday night’s count of 47 confirmed cases.

Tallapoosa County also confirmed another case, bringing the county’s total to five confirmed cases, according to ADPH. 

There are 15 confirmed cases in Chambers County and one in Russell County. 

There are 627 confirmed cases in Alabama. There were 517 confirmed cases in the state as of Thursday night.   

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 179 confirmed cases

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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 - 3
  • Elmore – 12
  • Etowah - 4
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 1
  • Houston – 3
  • Jackson – 5
  • Jefferson – 179
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 11
  • Lawrence – 2
  • Lee – 51
  • Limestone – 15
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 60
  • Marengo - 2
  • Marion – 7
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 23
  • Montgomery – 18
  • Morgan – 10
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 4
  • Randolph - 1
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 69
  • St. Clair – 9
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 5
  • Tuscaloosa – 22
  • Walker – 24
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2
  • Winston - 2 

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

EAMC update

Update: Friday, March 27, 5:43 p.m.

The number of patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with COVID-19 continues to increase.

There are 20 patients hospitalized at EAMC with COVID-19. Three patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged, the hospital said Friday.

Additionally, there are 21 patients who are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, EAMC said.

Fourteen hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative of the virus, EAMC added.

Case update

Update: Friday, March 27, 4:37 p.m.

There are now more than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reports that there are 604 confirmed cases as of 4:36 p.m. Friday.

The number of confirmed cases in Chambers County also rose to 15 confirmed virus cases, according to ADPH. 

There are 49 confirmed cases in Lee County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County.

Jefferson County has the most of any county in the state with 179 confirmed cases.

There were 47 confirmed cases in Lee County and 517 in Alabama as of Thursday night.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 5
  • Blount – 4
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 3
  • Chambers – 15
  • Cherokee – 1
  • Chilton – 7
  • Choctaw - 1
  • Clay – 1
  • Cleburne – 3
  • Colbert – 1
  • Coosa – 2
  • Covington - 1
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 7
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 1
  • Elmore – 12
  • Etowah - 4
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 1
  • Houston – 3
  • Jackson – 4
  • Jefferson – 179
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 9
  • Lawrence – 2
  • Lee – 49
  • Limestone – 15
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 53
  • Marengo - 2
  • Marion – 7
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 23
  • Montgomery – 18
  • Morgan – 10
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 3
  • Randolph - 1
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 67
  • St. Clair – 9
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 21
  • Walker – 23
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Auburn closures

Update: Friday, March 27, 3:42 p.m.

The city of Auburn is closing all city playgrounds, the Auburn/Opelika skate park, he bocce ball court at Martin Luther King Park, the Yarbrough Tennis Center and the Samford Tennis Courts due to the updated statewide public health order. 

The parks mentioned above are closed to the public effective immediately through April 17. 

Case update

Update: Friday, March 27, 2:42 p.m. 

Another case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Lee County, bringing the county’s total to 48 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 587 confirmed cases in Alabama and three deaths in the state.

There are confirmed cases 13 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 177 confirmed cases.

There were 47 confirmed cases in Lee County and 517 in Alabama as of Thursday night.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 5
  • Blount – 4
  • Bullock - 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 3
  • Chambers – 13
  • Cherokee – 1
  • Chilton – 6
  • Choctaw - 1
  • Clay – 1
  • Cleburne – 3
  • Colbert – 1
  • Coosa – 2
  • Covington - 1
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 6
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 1
  • Elmore – 12
  • Etowah - 4
  • Franklin – 3
  • Greene - 1
  • Houston – 3
  • Jackson – 4
  • Jefferson – 177
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 9
  • Lawrence – 2
  • Lee – 48
  • Limestone – 14
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 47
  • Marengo - 2
  • Marion – 7
  • Marshall – 4
  • Mobile – 23
  • Montgomery – 18
  • Morgan – 9
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 2
  • Randolph - 1
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 66
  • St. Clair – 9
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 21
  • Walker – 23
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Auburn University graduation 

Update: Friday, March 27, 12:30 p.m.

Auburn University announced that it will combine its spring commencement ceremony with its summer commencement ceremony. 

The summer graduation ceremony will be held on August 8-9 and any spring graduates can choose to participate at that time, according to a Friday afternoon release from the university. 

“The announcement follows the university’s recent decision to transition all spring on-campus instruction to remote delivery and cancel campus events through the end of the semester,” the release said. “In a letter to campus last week, President Jay Gogue indicated the university would assess alternate commencement plans while still conferring degrees to those students who meet graduation eligibility." 

Summer graduation could be postponed based on the coronavirus pandemic’s progression, however, the release said, though that decision would be made in the future. 

“Although our spring graduates will already have their degrees conferred, we know how important this Auburn tradition is to our students,” said President Jay Gogue. “There is no academic ceremony more symbolic than commencement, and we understand what walking across the stage means to our students and their families.”

Spring graduates will receive more information from the university next week in an email. 

Students who ordered regalia but will not participate in the summer graduation can request a refund, the release said. 

“Traditionally, Auburn’s summer commencement program recognizes 1,500 graduates across two ceremonies,” the release said. “By combining spring and summer exercises, the university will extend the event to multiple ceremonies across two days, provided the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.”

The ceremony will be available via live-stream and more information is available here: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/graduation/.

Auburn University to hold summer classes remotely 

Update: Friday, March 27, 12:15 p.m.

Auburn University has announced that its summer classes will be held remotely.

Auburn University holds three sessions of summer classes. The first is a 10 week session that covers the entire summer from May 20 to July 31. The second session covers from May 20 to June 23. A third session takes place from June 29 to July 31. 

Right now, the university has made the decision to hold Sessions one and two remotely, according to a Friday morning release. 

Session three could be delivered in person, that decision will be made by June 1, the release said. 

Registration for summer courses will open on Monday, April 6. 

“The decision comes as Auburn continues to observe policies and practices aimed at mitigating public health concerns related to COVID-19,” the release said. “As students prepare to make fall and summer registration decisions, the university will continue to support programs and offer coursework designed to support students' continuous academic progress.”

The university is offering students free shipping of course materials from the Auburn University Bookstore, as well. 

Additionally, the university announced that all study abroad programs for the summer have been canceled. 

“The decision reflects Auburn's response to recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control recommending higher education institutions cancel abroad programs due to global concerns over the growing outbreak,” the release said. 

“These concerns highlight the unpredictable circumstances students could face while abroad, such as travel restrictions, challenges in returning to the U.S., or accessing health care. This decision also aligns with the U.S. State Department's current elevation of the global health advisory level to a 4 (Do Not Travel).”

Students will receive refunds for fees paid for the spring and summer, the release said. 

“While I am hopeful that the risks associated with COVID-19 will lessen in the coming weeks and months, Auburn must continue to do its part to decrease the chances of transmitting the virus and protect the health of others," said President Jay Gogue. "I know this decision is disappointing for our students and faculty who had planned to study abroad this summer. However, I am confident that limiting travel and continuing remote instruction for the foreseeable future is the best way that Auburn can actively help to slow the transmission of the virus."

Business closures

Update: Friday, March 27, 11: 12 a.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that businesses deemed non-essential are closed until at least 5 p.m. on April 17.

Beginning Saturday at 5 p.m., the following "non-essential" businesses, venues and activities will be closed to non-employees or not take place, according to Ivey's order: 

  • Entertainment venues
    • Night clubs
    • Bowling alleys
    • Arcades 
    • Concert venues
    • Theaters, auditoriums and performing arts center
    • Tourist attractions (including museums and planetariums)
    • Racetracks
    • Indoor children's play areas
    • Adult entertainment venues
    • Casions
    • Bingo halls
    • Venues operated by social clubs
  • Athletic facilities and activities 
    • Fitness centers and commercial gyms
    • Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
    • Yoga, barre and spin facilities
    • Spectator sports
    • Sport that involve interaction with another person of closer than 6 feet
    • Activities that require use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
    • Activities on commercial or public playground equipment 
  • Close-contact service providers
    • Barber shops
    • Hair salons
    • Waxing salons
    • Threading salons
    • Nail salons and spas
    • Body-art facilities and tattoo services
    • Tanning salons
    • Massage-therapy establishments and massage services
  • Retail stores
    • Furniture and home-furnishings stores
    • Clothing, shoe and clothing-accessory stores
    • Jewelry, luggage and leather goods stores
    • Department stores
    • Sporting goods stores
    • Book, craft and music stores

Ivey added that she does not feel that there’s a need for a shelter in place at this time.

Also, beginning Saturday at 5 p.m. all dental, medical or surgical producers must be postponed until further notice. However, procedures necessary to treat an emergency medical condition or to avoid serious harm may continue. 

Deaths

Update: Friday, March 27, 7:45 a.m.

Three people have died in Alabama due to the coronavirus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The deaths occurred in Jackson, Madison and Lauderdale counties, according to ADPH.

The first death was reported Wednesday.

There are now confirmed cases in Lee County, 13 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 538 confirmed cases in the state.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 173 confirmed cases.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Shelby – 53
  • St. Clair – 6
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 20
  • Walker – 18
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Opelika Main Street Postpones Event 

Update: Thursday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Opelika Main Street announced on its Twitter Thursday evening that the 'On Tap' event has been postponed. 

“A new date will be announced on social media in the coming days,” the tweet said.

EAMC update

Update: Thursday, March 26, 6:41 p.m.

The number of patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with COVID-19 has increased.

There are 15 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at EAMC. One patient who was previously hospitalized with the virus has been discharged, EAMC said.

There are 24 patients who are hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.

Twelve hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative of the virus, EAMC said.

Opelika City Schools will not meet again 

Update: Thursday, March 26, 6:23 p.m.

Opelika City Schools, in according with Gov. Kay Ivey’s announcement, will not reconvene for the remainder of the school year. 

"We realize there are many unanswered questions at this time,” said Superintendent Mark Neighbors Thursday evening. “Once we have more information regarding  items such as graduation and final grades, we will communicate that with you.  We ask for your patience as we continue to navigate this process.”

Auburn City Schools Prepare

Update: Thursday, March 26, 6:07 p.m. 

Auburn City Schools released a statement Thursday afternoon in response to Gov. Kay Ivey's announcement. 

“With much appreciation for the work our teachers and team have already accomplished in the redesign of teaching and learning, ACS will receive further direction from the Alabama State Department of Education on Friday and continue communicating with students and parents,” the Facebook post by superintendent Cristen Herring said.  

Ivey announced that all public schools would finish the remainder of the year remotely and should commence instruction on April 6.

The school system is preparing to act based on Ivey’s announcement, Herring said. 

“In keeping with our mission, to ensure each student realizes and embraces their own unique talents and intellectual gifts, and to achieve personal aspirations while admirably contributing to the greater good, Auburn City Schools is well prepared to move into the days and weeks ahead,” she said. 

Local, state cases

Update: Thursday, March 26, 5:30 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to climb in east Alabama. 

There are now 47 confirmed cases in Lee County, 13 in Chambers County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 517 confirmed cases in the state.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 159 confirmed cases.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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 - 1
  • Crenshaw - 1
  • Cullman – 6
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 1
  • Elmore – 10
  • Etowah - 4
  • Franklin – 3
  • Houston – 3
  • Jackson – 4
  • Jefferson – 159
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 9
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 47
  • Limestone – 13
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 43
  • Marengo - 1
  • Marion – 7
  • Marshall – 3
  • Mobile – 18
  • Montgomery – 17
  • Morgan – 9
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 52
  • St. Clair – 6
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 19
  • Walker – 17
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 2

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Spring high school sports officially canceled in Alabama

Update: Thursday, March 26, 4:45 p.m.

Alabama state superintendent Eric Mackey announced there would be no more spring high school sporting events during a press conference with governor Kay Ivey. The decision means a premature close to the season for baseball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and track teams across the state as well as other extracurricular activities such as band.

Mackey’s comments came shortly after Ivey announced that all Alabama public school students will study from home beginning April 6 through the end of school year.

Gov. Kay Ivey press conference

Update: Thursday, March 26, 4 p.m. 

Alabama public schools will move to online instruction for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday.

Ivey signed a supplemental state of emergency Thursday stating that all public K-12 schools will begin to implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using alternate methods of instruction as established by the State Superintendent of Education.

The alternative methods of instruction will begin on April 6, 2020, the proclamation states.

Case update

Update: Thursday, March 26, 3:09 p.m.

There are now more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama as numbers in Lee County near the 50 mark. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed 501 cases of the virus in the state as of 3:10 p.m. Thursday. 

There are now 47 confirmed cases in Lee County, nine in Chambers County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County, according to ADPH. 

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 6
  • Baldwin – 5
  • Blount – 2
  • Bullock - 2
  • 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 - 4
  • Franklin – 3
  • Houston – 3
  • Jackson – 3
  • Jefferson – 148
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 9
  • Lawrence – 3
  • Lee – 47
  • Limestone – 12
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 43
  • Marengo - 1
  • Marion – 7
  • Marshall – 3
  • Mobile – 18
  • Montgomery – 17
  • Morgan – 9
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 2
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 52
  • St. Clair – 7
  • Talladega – 4
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 19
  • Walker – 18
  • Washington – 2
  • Wilcox – 1

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

Press conference

Update: Thursday, March 26, 12:17 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey, State Superintendent Eric Mackey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris will hold a joint press conference at 4 p.m. Thursday. The conference will be streamed on Ivey's official Facebook page. 

Cases update

Update: Thursday, March 26, 12:15 p.m.

There are now 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, nine in Chambers County, one in Russell County and four in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). 

There are 472 confirmed cases in Alabama, up from the 449 confirmed cases as of Thursday morning. 

Local, state cases

Update: Thursday, March 26, 9:12 a.m.

There are now 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County as the number of cases climb to more than 440 in Alabama.

There are 449 confirmed cases in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Chambers County has 10 confirmed cases, Russell County has one confirmed case and Tallapoosa County has four confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Jefferson County has the most cases of any county in the state with 141 cases.

There were 40 confirmed cases in Lee County, ten in Chambers County, four in Tallapoosa County and one in Russell County as of Wednesday night.

ADPH confirmed the first death of an Alabama resident due to the virus Wednesday night.

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • Autauga – 5
  • Baldwin – 4
  • Blount – 2
  • Butler – 1
  • Calhoun – 2
  • Chambers – 10
  • Cherokee – 1
  • Chilton – 4
  • Clay – 1
  • Cleburne – 1
  • Coffee - 1
  • Colbert – 1
  • Coosa - 1
  • Cullman – 6
  • Dallas - 2
  • DeKalb - 1
  • Elmore – 10
  • Etowah - 3
  • Franklin – 2
  • Houston – 2
  • Jackson – 2
  • Jefferson – 141
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 7
  • Lawrence – 1
  • Lee – 44
  • Limestone – 10
  • Lowndes - 1
  • Madison – 37
  • Marengo - 1
  • Marion – 5
  • Marshall – 3
  • Mobile – 13
  • Montgomery – 16
  • Morgan – 7
  • Pickens – 1
  • Pike – 1
  • Russell – 1
  • Shelby – 48
  • St. Clair – 6
  • Talladega – 3
  • Tallapoosa – 4
  • Tuscaloosa – 17
  • Walker – 17
  • Washington – 1
  • Wilcox – 1

For the latest figures from the health department visit: https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6d2771faa9da4a2786a509d82c8cf0f7.

First Alabama virus death

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 8:56 p.m.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed the first coronavirus death in Alabama.

The patient, a Jackson County resident, had underlying health problems and passed away in a facility outside the state, ADPH said.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as to the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “The health of our residents and the community is our greatest priority, and we will continue working together to care for the patients, protect the safety of health care workers, and protect the people in our state." 

The patient was a Jackson County part-time employee, Tim Guffey, chairman of the Jackson County Commission, said in a Wednesday news release.

The employee worked in the courthouse, Guffey added and that all employees who may become in contact with the individual have been notified. 

“The work area where the employee worked will be fully sanitized and will be checked thoroughly before any employees are allowed to return to work,” Guffey said. 

The courthouse will not be open until April 6, at least.  

“The Jackson County Commission and the employees of the county offer the family of one of our part-time employees its heartfelt sympathy in the passing of their loved one,” Guffey said. 

Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement once the first coronavirus death was confirmed. 

"I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones during these extraordinary circumstances,” Ivey said in a statement. “I continue to urge everyone that this virus is real, it is deadly, and we should continue to maintain social-distancing as much as possible. Together, we will overcome these challenges and difficult days.”

Arbor Springs

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 8:47 p.m.

An Opelika rehab center resident and employee tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Arbor Spring Health and Rehab Center was notified Monday afternoon that a resident tested positive for the virus, the center said in a news release.

The resident was sent to the hospital during the weekend before they were tested and remained in the hospital as of Wednesday night, Arbor Springs said.

An employee of Arbor Springs received a positive COVID-19 test result late Tuesday. The employee, however, hasn’t worked for 14 days in Arbor Springs’ building.

“Before the resident developed symptoms, Arbor Springs had implemented safety measures to limit our residents’ exposure to visitors and contact with each other to reduce infections,” the release reads.

“After receiving the diagnosis, we immediately contacted the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Lee County Department of Health and had already begun implementing additional protocols to help ensure the safety of our residents and employees.”

The facility remains in contact with government officials for support and guidance.

Arbor Springs said it’s following CDC and ADPH guidelines regarding testing and protection. As a result, the facility will be testing all employees and residents.

“The well-being and safety of our residents has always been and still remains our top priority,” the release reads. ‘We have contacted the families of our residents and are very much appreciative of their patience and understanding during these times.”

Protective protocols remain in place at Arbor Springs.

EAMC update

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 6:17 p.m.

The number of patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with COVID-19 has increased. However, the number of patients who are hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 has decreased, the hospital said Wednesday night.

There are nine patients hospitalized at EAMC with COVID-19, with one of them being from a nursing home. There are 25 patients who are hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, EAMC said.

One patient who was previously hospitalized with COVID-19 has been discharged, EAMC added.

There were seven patients at EAMC with COVID-19 and 27 patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 as of Tuesday night.

Local, state cases

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 5:16 p.m.

There are now 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County while numbers in Chambers and Tallapoosa counties continue to rise. Russell County also confirmed its first case of the virus.

Chambers County has 10 confirmed cases and Tallapoosa County has four confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The number of confirmed cases in Alabama has soared to 386, a 103 case increase from Wednesday morning.

Jackson County is reporting that a part-time county employee died after contracting coronavirus, the Jackson County Commission said in a news release. 

ADPH, however, has not confirmed a death from COVID-19 at this time, the department said in a tweet. 

The following is a breakdown of Alabama cases by county:

  • 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
  • Franklin – 2
  • Houston – 2
  • Jackson – 2
  • Jefferson – 129
  • Lamar – 1
  • Lauderdale – 6
  • 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
  • Wilcox – 1

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Opelika to scale back recycling operation

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 3:07 p.m.

The city of Opelika is scaling back its recycling operation for now, due to COVID-19 and its potential impact on city employees.

“Opelika’s Recycling Centers on 8th Avenue and Jeter Avenue are temporarily closing. We will also temporarily discontinue our commercial cardboard route until further notice,” according to city spokeswoman Leigh Krehling.

Krehling said the city would reopen the recycling sites and restart the commercial cardboard routes as soon as possible; however, curbside recycling is still on for now.

Auburn City Council to hold special meeting 

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 1:50 p.m.

The city of Auburn will hold a special meeting Thursday at 2 p.m. remotely. 

"[The meeting is] to discuss commercial loan assistance for local businesses," according to a Wednesday release. "The meeting will be held using the video conferencing platform, Zoom."

The details of the meeting will be updated here: auburnalabama.org/agenda

Auburn offers filing help for unemployed

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 1:11 p.m.

The city of Auburn's Industrial Development Board (IDB) and Workforce Development division have formed a Workforce Action Center. Unemployment claims can be made by calling 866-234-5382 or by visiting labor.alabama.gov, and online filing is strongly encouraged.

While the center is available for those who need assistance or those without computer access, individuals do not have to come to the Workforce Action Center at 1500 Pumphrey Ave. for service.

Staff members from the City of Auburn’s Economic Development team will be available in a laptop lab to help workers file claims for unemployment online. People may also call the hotline set up at 334-501-7308 to ask questions about workforce-related needs.

Valley-area school

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 1:06 p.m.

A person at W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley has tested positive for COVID-19, the school said in a Facebook post.

“While it is unknown when this individual contracted the virus, this family was advised by the ADPH to contact everyone that the individual has had contact with over the last two weeks,” the post reads. 

“Therefore, out of our responsibility to you and your family, we are sending this notification to inform you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with this individual.” 

The school did not say if the person was an employee, teacher or student.

The school encourages its community to monitor themselves and their family for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath

Bruce Pearl

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 11:15 a.m. 

Local cases

Update: Wednesday, March 25, 10:36 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County is nearing 30 as cases continue to rise throughout the state.

There are now 29 confirmed cases in Lee County, seven in Chambers County and three in Tallapoosa County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The number of confirmed cases in Alabama has risen to 283, up from 242. No deaths have been reported. 

There were 26 confirmed cases in Lee County, five in Chambers County and two in Tallapoosa County as of Tuesday night.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 99, according to ADPH.

Shelby County has 36 confirmed cases while Madison County has 21 confirmed cases. Tuscaloosa and Mobile counties have 10 confirmed cases each, according to the health department. 

Montgomery and Elmore counties have nine confirmed cases each. Walker County has eight confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Lauderdale and Limestone counties have six confirmed cases each. St. Clair County has five confirmed cases. 

Baldwin and Talladega counties have four confirmed cases each. Cullman County has three confirmed cases. 

Calhoun, Jackson and Morgan counties have two confirmed cases each.

Autauga, Franklin, Houston, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Pike and Washington counties each have one confirmed case.

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Auburn University Adjusts Move-Out 

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 7:45 p.m.

Auburn University Housing has adjusted its move-out policy after concerns from parents and students Tuesday. 

Students can now move out their belongings on any weekend between March 27 through June 28, Auburn University Housing announced on its Facebook page Tuesday evening. 

“Our email earlier today about early move-out caused understandable concerns by many of you and your families,” the post said. “Please know your voices have been heard. Because your health and safety is Auburn's top priority, we have adjusted the move-out plan to give you more flexibility and peace of mind. 

We are so sorry for any confusion and anxiety that may have been caused. We ask that you please disregard the previous information and move-out dates.” 

The residence halls, during those weekends, will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Additionally, students do not need to fill out any forms beforehand, the post added. 

For any students who are not able to retrieve their belongings, Auburn University Housing will store them until the student is able to come.  

“We thank you for expressing your concerns as well as your patience and understanding,” the post concluded. “Our goal is to provide the best and safest option for all during these uncertain times. Please note: check out procedures (returning keys), refunds, and obtaining/fowarding mail still remain the same as before. All of this information has been sent to your AU Email as well."

Opelika plans as if school will not reconvene

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.

Opelika City Schools announced in a Tuesday afternoon press release that the schools are, at this time, planning on not returning.

“I wanted to take a moment to touch base with you on our plans or the next few weeks in regard to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and schools being closed,” said Superintendent Mark Neighbors in the release. 

“We realize that being absent from school can be difficult to many children so we are trying to alleviate some of that stress by providing a connection to school and their teachers.”

Neighbors said that the plan not to return isn’t official and the school system is waiting on word from the State Department of Education and the Governor’s Office.  

“This week, we are developing an instructional plan to provide critical content to students by each grade span,” he said. “In order to provide continuity and consistency of instruction, our administrators are working on an instructional plan that will provide critical content to students while our schools are closed.” 

The plan should be announced by March 30, Neighbors said. Resources can be found on each school’s website and teachers will be calling parents soon. 

“Our plan is to focus on critical content so students will be prepared for the next school year,” Neighbors added. “We are awaiting guidance from ALSDE for clarification on many issues including grades, graduation, earning course credits, etc.”

EAMC cases

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 6:15 p.m.

There are seven patients hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) with COVID-19 with one of them being from a nursing home, the hospital said Tuesday evening.

One patient who was previously hospitalized with COVID-19 has been discharged and 27 patients are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, EAMC added.

“Like other hospitals, we have surge capacity contingency plans that have to be considered during times like these,” EAMC president and CEO Laura Grill said. “As such, we have made some changes to where we care for certain patient types so as to separate our non-COVID patients from our confirmed or suspected COVID patients.”

The age range of the patients who have tested positive is between 20-years and 82-years. The symptoms of the patients range from mild to severe, EAMC said.

EAMC has submitted more than 700 collection kits to one of four laboratories. The number of collection kits includes the HealthPlus drive-thru site, EAMC’s emergency department, EAMC-Lanier’s drive-thru site and EAMC-Lanier's emergency department. It does not include any kits that were submitted by area physicians, EAMC said.

A total of 416 tests have come back negative, while 252 tests were awaiting results as of Monday. The average time for a test to yield results is four days but some have taken up to seven days, said EAMC.

Cases climb

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 4:48 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to climb in Lee County, Chambers County, Tallapoosa County and the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are now 26 confirmed cases in Lee County, five in Chambers County and two in Tallapoosa County.

The number of confirmed cases in Alabama has risen to 242. No deaths have been reported, ADPH said. 

Tallapoosa County had one confirmed case as of Tuesday morning. Lee County had 21 confirmed cases and Chambers County had two confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 91, according to ADPH.

Shelby County has 27 confirmed cases while Madison County has 21 confirmed cases. Tuscaloosa County has 10 confirmed cases, according to the health department. 

Montgomery County has nine confirmed cases and Elmore County has eight confirmed cases. Mobile County has six confirmed cases Walker County has five confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Baldwin, St. Clair and Limestone counties have four confirmed cases each. Cullman and Lauderdale and counties have three confirmed cases each. 

Calhoun, Jackson, Morgan and Talladega counties have two confirmed cases each.

Autauga, Franklin, Houston, Lamar, Marion and Washington counties each have one confirmed case.

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Auburn student

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 3:34 p.m.

An Auburn University student has tested positive for coronavirus, Fred Kam, the medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic, told the Opelika-Auburn News.

“An Auburn student has tested positive for SARS CoV-2 which causes COVID-19,” Kam said in an email.

The student is believed to have contracted the virus outside of the United States during spring break. The student lives off-campus, Kam said.

“This student has been taking all online classes since the beginning of this semester and posed no direct threat to the campus community,” said Kam.

Those who have come in direct contact with the student have already been notified about the possible exposure and asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for at least 14 days, Kam added.

Auburn sends move out schedule to dorm residents

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 2:50 p.m.

Auburn Dining offers refunds to students 

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

Auburn University sent an email to students Tuesday afternoon with further instructions regarding reimbursements for campus dining plans. 

“President Gogue recently let you know that Auburn will provide prorated refunds for your dining plan,” said the email from campus dining, student affairs. “We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and our goal is to make receiving your refund as quick and easy as possible for you and your family.”

Students should log onto AU Access, click on the ‘My Finances tab’ and click ‘Refunds Fast and East’. 

Not all students will receive the same refund. Prorated refunds will depend on the remaining balance in the account. The email provided a link where students can check their balances: https://get.cbord.com/auburn/full/prelogin.php.  

“If your account balance is more than the prorated refund, the difference will be made available for the coming academic year,” the email added. “However, if you graduate this spring or summer and have remaining funds, please contact us at dining@auburn.edu."

Local cases

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 10:36 a.m.

There are now more than 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced Tuesday morning.

Lee County has 21 confirmed cases and Chambers County now has three confirmed cases, ADPH said. 

The number of confirmed cases has risen from 196 to 215 in Alabama. No deaths have been reported. 

Tallapoosa County continues to have one confirmed case. Lee County had 19 confirmed cases Monday night.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 90, according to ADPH.

Shelby County has 24 confirmed cases while Madison County has 21 confirmed cases. Tuscaloosa County has nine confirmed cases, according to the health department. 

Montgomery and Elmore counties have eight confirmed cases each. St. Clair County has four confirmed cases, according to ADPH.

Baldwin, Lauderdale, Mobile and Walker counties have three confirmed cases each. 

Calhoun, Cullman and Limestone counties have two confirmed cases each.

Franklin, Houston, Jackson, Lamar, Marion, Morgan, Talladega and Washington counties each have one confirmed case.

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

"Great American Takeout" 

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 9:02 a.m.

The Opelika Chamber of Commerce is encouraging residents to order takeout from their favorite restaurant Tuesday as part of a national effort to help the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Great American Takeout,” a social media movement, is encouraging people throughout the country to order at least one of their meals to go on Tuesday.

The Opelika chamber decided to encourage residents to partake in the national effort in hopes of helping local businesses.

“We realize many people are already doing curbside pickup, and this is going to help our restaurants during this unique time,” Opelika Chamber of Commerce President Pam Powers-Smith said. “Tomorrow (Tuesday) is just to encourage citizens to not forget our restaurants that have much-reduced business right now. Pick your favorite or try something new, call your order in and pick it up curbside!”

A list of the restaurants that the Opelika-Auburn News knows of that are offering curbside or take out can be found on oanow.com.

Local cases

Update: Monday, March 23, 4:39 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from 17 to 19 in Lee County and the first case of the virus has been confirmed in Tallapoosa County, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced Monday afternoon.

There are still two confirmed cases in Chambers County while the number of confirmed cases in Alabama has risen to 196.

Lee County had 16 confirmed cases as of Sunday night.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 86, according to ADPH.

Shelby County has 22 confirmed cases while Madison County has 21 confirmed cases. Tuscaloosa County has nine confirmed cases and Elmore County has six confirmed cases, according to the health department. 

Montgomery County has four confirmed cases.

Baldwin, Lauderdale, St. Clair and Walker counties have three confirmed cases each. 

Calhoun, Cullman and Mobile counties have two confirmed cases each.

Franklin, Houston, Jackson, Lamar, Limestone, Marion, Talladega and Washington counties each have one confirmed case.

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

Opelika Utilities

Update: Monday, March 23, 1:56 p.m.

Opelika Utilities is closing its lobby to walk-in traffic beginning Monday until further notice, the city of Opelika announced.

The drive-thru will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

All new service requests must be conducted by telephone, the city said. 

Mask donations

Update: Monday, March 23, 1:53 p.m.

An anonymous donor has donated 100,000 masks/PPE’s to Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday on her Twitter account.

Ivey writes that her office is working to provide resources to the state’s healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It truly takes a team effort as we seek to flatten the curve,” the tweet reads.

Auburn Public Library is now a help center 

Update: Monday, March 23, 11:35 a.m.

The Auburn Public Library has transitioned to a help center as of Monday morning as coronavirus continues to affect Lee County. 

“This morning we have transitioned the library to be a call center for information for the citizens of Auburn,” said Mayor Ron Anders in a Monday morning announcement.  

Citizens can reach out to the library for information by calling 334-501-7307 or emailing weblibrary@auburnalabama.org

“Simply put, we want to be a conduit of information for you,” Anders said. “If you have questions or concerns please give us a call, send us an email and we will do everything we can to connect you to those people or those organizations in our community that might can help you or provide this services that you’re looking for.”

Theses resources are not for emergencies, however, Anders said. This number and email is for other concerns, non-emergency concerns. 

The library will be serving as a resource on Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

“Don’t hesitate to call our staff at the library, email our staff at the library,” Anders said. “We want to be able to answer your questions and make sure that you have all the information you need as we deal with this unusual time, unprecedented time in our community.”

Local cases

Update: Monday, March 23, 11:03 a.m.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County continues to rise.

There are now 17 confirmed cases in Lee County. Chambers County continues to have two confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

There are 167 confirmed cases in Alabama, up form the 157 confirmed cases Sunday night. No deaths have been reported, according to ADPH.

Lee County had 16 confirmed cases as of Sunday night.

Jefferson County has the most confirmed cases with 79, according to ADPH.

Shelby and Madison counties also have 17 confirmed cases each. Tuscaloosa County has seven confirmed cases and Elmore County has six confirmed cases, according to the health department. 

Montgomery and St. Clair counties have three confirmed cases each. 

Baldwin, Cullman, Lauderdale and Mobile counties have two confirmed cases each.

Calhoun, Jackson, Lamar, Limestone, Marion, Talladega, Walker and Washington counties each have one confirmed case.

For the latest figures from the health department visit: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html.

State income tax

Update: Monday, March 23, 10:53 a.m.

The state income tax filing due date is being extended to July 15 due to coronavirus, Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Revenue announced Monday.

The filing date is being extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. 

Taxpayers also can defer state income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed, a news release from Ivey said.

“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 Gov. 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), according to the release.

“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,” the release reads.