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Rising infections raise concerns

Climbing COVID-19 rates continue to cause concern across the state and nation.

On Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the state total to 210,637. Of the new. Ases, 1,658 were confirmed and 342 were presumed.

The state’s COVID-19 death count rose to 3,213.

In Pike County, nine new cases brought the county’s total to 1,461 with 14 confirmed deaths.

Troy University has reported 34 new student cases and three new employee cases this week, bringing the total reported on campus to more than 600 since August.

Nationally, the virus is blamed for more than 240,000 deaths and over 10.4 million confirmed infections in the U.S., with the country facing what health experts say will be a dark winter because of disregard for mask-wearing and other precautions, the onset of cold weather and crowded holiday gatherings.

And, a new study reported Thursday warns that temperature and symptom checks may not be enough to identify the virus.

Temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks like the ones used at schools and doctor’s offices have again proved inadequate for spotting coronavirus infections and preventing outbreaks.

A study of Marine recruits found that despite these measures and strict quarantines before they started training, the recruits spread the virus to others even though hardly any of them had symptoms. None of the infections were caught through symptom screening.