From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there were 242 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alabama as of Tuesday at 4:40 p.m. Ninety-one of those confirmed cases were in Jefferson County and four were in St. Clair County. There were still no deaths associated with the outbreak in the state.
At UAB Hospital, 45 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Tuesday. That is 19% of the state’s coronavirus patients. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said he could not say if the patients at UAB are from the area or if they were brought to the hospital from other counties.
Of the patients at UAB, 18 were on ventilators. In other areas where coronavirus patients have been treated there have been shortages of ventilators. Gov. Kay Ivey said the state is already facing a ventilator shortage. Ivey said she is hoping public and private partnerships will mean more ventilators to Alabama, in order to avoid a serious problem.
The Birmingham City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday afternoon to approve a Shelter in Place order for the city of Birmingham. The order is effective immediately and runs until April 3.
The order is in response to the increasing number of those testing positive for the coronavirus in the Jefferson County area.
“I want to thank the council for working with me to keep the people who work and live in the city of Birmingham safe,” Mayor Woodfin said. “Shelter in place simply means to stay at home. Don’t go out unless getting food, gas or other essentials. Deliveries will still be made, services will be delivered and the distribution system to our grocery stores, pharmacies other essential businesses will be uninterrupted.”
Violating the ordinance could hold a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or paying a fine of up to $500.
Public health officials in Jefferson County have ordered restaurants to switch to take-out service only and ordered child care centers closed and nursing home visits restricted. Bars are now permitted to sell bottled alcohol to go and may provide curbside service, but patrons are not permitted in the establishment. Barbershops, hair salons and all non-essential retail stores have been ordered to close.