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Chilton County in Very High Risk category for COVID-19

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Chilton County is in the Very High Risk category for COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

“Calculations for each county’s risk of COVID-19 spread in the community is based on number of new cases each day. To better represent when the person could potentially spread the disease, the ‘case date’ is calculated based either on the date of specimen collection or symptom onset, depending on which date was first,” according to ADPH.

While the goal for the number of those being tested has been met and visits for COVID-like symptoms are declining in the county, the percentage of positive cases was not declining or was higher than 10 % as of Dec. 3.

“The testing goal is met when at least 0.8% of a county’s population is tested every two weeks (or about 2% per month). The timeline of two weeks is designed to ensure that counties provide testing opportunities for their citizens regularly, with the consideration that some weeks may not be conducive to high test rates (i.e., holidays),” according to ADPH.

The Dec. 3 numbers were the most up to date available on Dec. 9.

The ADPH recommends those living in areas in the Very High Risk category, stay 6 feet away from others in public, avoid groups of 20 or more, wear a face covering when within 6 feet of someone in public, avoid unnecessary travel and visits to residential care facilities.

St. Vincent’s Chilton is encouraging community members to come to the emergency department if they need emergency care. Delaying emergency and needed health care can lead to bigger health issues.

Doing a takeout, pickup or delivery option from a restaurant, rather than eating in, is also recommended.

The ADPH encourages churches to hold services online if possible or maintain social distancing during service in areas in the Very High Risk category.

Previously, Chilton County had been in the moderate risk category.

As of Dec. 9, Chilton County had 262 confirmed cases in the last 14 days. In that same time, 753 people had been tested for the virus.

Statewide there are 168,387 presumed recoveries.

Rapid COVID testing is available at Chilton Urgent Care. COVID testing is available by appointment at Clanton Family Health Center.

Primary care physicians can also order the test.

Gov. Kay Ivey has extended the Safer-at-Home order, which requires masks or face coverings to be worn when within 6 feet of someone from another household, until Jan. 22.