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County drops to ‘moderate risk’

The U.S. surgeon general said Friday that Alabama remains in the “red zone” for COVID-19 spread, but numbers are headed in the right direction

The Alabama Department of Public Health dashboard was only partially updated on Friday, but it showed 107,804 total cases, which is an increase of only 321 from Friday.

The ADPH totals for Pike County showed six new cases, for a total of 759 with seven confirmed deaths. Troy University reported five new student cases, including two at dorms and one at a fraternity house, and one employee case on Friday. The university has reported more than 65 cases among students, including 16 on campus, since students returned on Aug. 10. Five cases have been reported at Rushing Hall; three at Newman; three at Trojan Village; three at Delta Chi Fraternity; one at Cowart Hall; and one at Farmhouse Fraternity.

The university cases are not included in the ADPH totals for Pike County unless the individual is a full-time resident of Pike County.

Pike County also fell to the moderate risk category in the ADPH update, indicating a 7-14 day trend of declining positive cases. Only two counties – Walker and Greene – were designated “very high risk” this week.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was in Hoover on Friday to help announce the opening of additional free testing sites in the Jefferson County area.

“The power to stop COVID lies in each and every one of our hands,” Adams said.

Adams said he wanted to give a “thanks and shout out” to Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Scott Harris for implementing a statewide mask mandate. He said Alabama remains in the red zone for case numbers and the percentage of tests coming back positive, but the numbers are showing improvement.

“Thank you to the people of Alabama. You are the only state that is in the red that has indicators all moving in the right direction.”

The new collection sites are an attempt to increase testing as asymptomatic spread drives virus transmission. People will be given a kit to do a self-administered nasal swab at the sites and submit it for testing. People can register for the tests and find locations at www.doineedacovid19test.com

While speaking at the press conference, the surgeon general demonstrated how people will do the test, which involves putting a collection stick in each nostril. It does not need to go back to the throat like some tests do.