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Pike County records fourth death

Pike County has recorded its fourth confirmed death related to COVID-19, and local officials say those numbers are likely to continue to climb.

The death was reported with the Alabama Department of Public Health 10 a.m. update on Tuesday. In addition, Pike County added nine additional reported cases, bringing the county’s total to 366 since reporting began.

More than 2,910 tests have been conducted in Pike County, and of those 12.6 percent have tested positive.

“From everything I’m seeing and hearing right now, this is going to be here for a while,” said Herb Reeves, Pike County EMA directory. “And, with the Fourth of July holiday coming up, it’s important that we remind people that they need to wear masks; to socially distance; and to take precautions.”

Amy Minor, chief clinical officer for Troy Regional Medical Center, echoed that concern. “I think there are concerns that people aren’t taking the precautions seriously,” she said. “And that’s going to lead to a continued increase in the number of cases. Young people are resilient … they can probably bounce back more easily, but if they spread it to their grandmother or someone who is at risk …”

Minor said the hospital continues to increases in the number of in-patient cases for COVID-19 and in testing. “Some patients are here overnight for observation and some need to stay longer for more treatment,” she said, adding that she could not disclose any details about the cases.

And, she said, health care professionals are worried that individuals who test positive for the virus aren’t taking the necessary precautions. “We’ve seen that with some people who get tested and, while they’re waiting the three days for the test results to come back they start to feel better so they get out and get back to life,” Minor said. “And, we’ve seen some people who start to feel better then decide they can get out again.”

Minor said the CDC recommends allowing 10 days after the onset of symptoms before resuming normal activities, assuming an individual is symptom free for at least three days. “That means symptom free with no medication,” she said.

Statewide, Alabama added 639 cases in Tuesday’s report, bringing the total to 30,670 with 854 confirmed deaths. Bamatracker.com estimated some 15,974 or more than 52 percent of cases have recovered, although the state health department does not provide specific tracking data for recoveries.

Also on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced that a part-time employee in his office tested positive for COVID-19. The employee, who works only a handful of hours each week, utilizes a work area is separated from the rest of the staff. The employee last worked in the office on the morning of Thursday, June 18.

All members of the office staff have been tested or are in the process of being tested for COVID-19 in response, and, thus far, no additional positive results have been reported.

In addition, the State House suite has been thoroughly cleaned and will remain closed until all employees’ test results have been returned, a statement said.

Employees are working remotely from home, and phones are being answered in order to continue providing services to the citizens who need them.