July 10, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Coffee County has risen to 416, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, which is reporting four deaths. With 78 active cases, Coffee County has now been placed in the Very High Risk category for the potential spread of the Coronavirus. Mayor William E. Cooper and city leaders encourage everyone to wear masks when out in public; use hand sanitizer and wash hands frequently, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet and stay at home if possible.
Accompanying story from July 6, 2020:
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COVID-19 numbers climb, but not critically, in Coffee County
BY KEN ROGERS firstname.lastname@example.org
Jul 6, 2020
An increase in testing, like this test from early May, explains some but not all of the recent
rise in positive tests for COVID-19 in Coffee County.
KEN ROGERS/THE LEDGER
Like much of the state and many hot spots across the country, Coffee
County’s COVID-19 numbers are up. However, they have not
reached a critical level.
“We are trending up a little bit as far as active cases,” county EMA
Director James Brown said Monday. “This morning we’re at 73
active cases in Coffee County. … We’re keeping an eye on it.
“We’re watching it daily to see where the numbers are going. They
have gone up. Before we were averaging 45-50 mark, now we’re
averaging in the high-60s, low-70s range. There has been more
testing going on, but that doesn’t account for everything.”
Even with more testing, Brown noted the rate of positive results has
stayed around 10 percent, meaning around 1 in 10 tested have been
positive for the virus.
“We’ve been maintaining that,” he said. “We’re doing the same as far
as the positivity rate, but we’re identifying more people.”
In all, Coffee County has had 377 positive cases cumulatively. That
means around 260 people have been through the quarantine
procedures and have recovered. Two deaths have officially been
attributed to the virus.
The latest testing numbers from Medical Center Enterprise were
1,078 tests collected, with 73 positive results and nine pending. The
reporting of those MCE numbers does not indicate that these patients
have or have not been a patient at the hospital.
Brown continues to hope for development of a test that provides
quicker results, as well as a faster antibody test that would indicate
people who have had the virus but were asymptomatic.
“If you look, the CDC put out something recently that we might have
10 times (the positive cases) what we’re actually reporting,” Brown
said. “So if we’re reporting 377 cases they’re thinking we’ve already
had 3,700 cases. If that’s the case, we’ve had a lot of people who have
had it that we never knew had it. That would take our numbers down
As far as the rise in active cases, the EMA director said the hospitals
in this part of the state, including MCE, have not been stressed to a
“If we got into 150, 200 active cases, I’d be cautious. If we get about
300 or so active cases I’d be more concerned,” Brown said. “Of the
active cases, we’re still averaging about 9, 10 percent that end up
going to the hospital.”
Parts of Alabama have experienced more stress in their hospitals.
“Hospital beds for the state did kind of take a spike from the first part
of June,” Brown noted. “We were averaging around 600, now we’re
right around 900 in the hospital. That’s throughout the state. We
haven’t seen a big spike of that in our area.”