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Daily News Digest – April 6, 2016

Presented by

Alabama Counts!

Good morning!
Best of luck to all the parents with kids starting their distance learning today. I don’t know how you do it. 
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, April 6.



1. Into the breach

  • Americans are bracing for what the nation’s top doctor warns could be “the hardest and saddest” next few weeks of their lives, as cases and deaths from the new coronavirus are expected to peak.
  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered a stark warning about the expected wave of virus deaths.
  • “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”
  • But President Donald Trump later suggested the hard weeks ahead could foretell the turning of a corner. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at an evening White House briefing.
  • The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded 337,000, with the death toll climbing past 9,600.
  • In Alabama, total COVID-19 cases stood at 1,842 this morning, with 45 reported deaths from the illness and 31 of those confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he hoped the pace of new infections would plateau soon, but that the virus is unlikely to be eradicated this year.
  • Fauci said the prospect of a resurgence is why the U.S. is working so hard to develop a vaccine and conducting clinical trials on treatments.
  • He said the toll in the coming week is “going to be shocking to some, but that’s what is going to happen before it turns around, so just buckle down.”
  • Scientists are still learning about the virus that was first detected in late December in Wuhan, China.
  • Across the pond, Britain assumed the unwelcome mantle of deadliest coronavirus hot spot in Europe after a record 24-hour jump in deaths that surpassed even hard-hit Italy’s.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, and Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised address appealing to Britons to rise to the occasion.
  • Read more and see the latest charts HERE.



2. Renewed talk of Medicaid expansion

  • The spread of the new coronavirus, the resulting strain on hospitals and the possible infusion of federal relief money is rekindling talks of expanding the state’s Medicaid program.
  • For ten years, Alabama has resisted expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, mostly on fiscal grounds. Some estimates show expanding the program to include 360,000 more residents would cost the state about $170 million in the first year alone with increasing costs going forward.
  • However, now the state could be in receipt of funds to lighten that bill. The coronavirus economic relief package known as the CARES Act contained $150 billion to help states and local governments recover from the financial impact of the outbreak and specifically included provisions to help states shore up their Medicaid programs. Some reports show Alabama coffers could receive as much as $1.7 billion, though much of that is likely to be earmarked toward specific programs.
  • U.S. Sen. Doug Jones has a bill that would turn back the clock on the federal match and allow any new expanding states to enjoy the same incentives that were offered back in the early 2010s. He’s trying to get that bill language included in a potential “Phase 4” bill being discussed on Capitol Hill.
  • In the State House, Republican leaders remain skeptical that funding for Medicaid expansion could have the votes any time soon.
  • But the prospect of new federal money could change that, some lawmakers said.
  • Read my full story on it HERE.




A message from

Alabama Counts!

Census 2020 has formally launched nationwide!
All Alabamians are encouraged to participate, as a low count could result in the loss of $13.6 billion in federal and state funding, the loss of potential economic development opportunities, and a reduced state representation in Congress.
The 10-question Census takes only six minutes or less, and you can participate online, by phone or via traditional paper form.
All participants’ information is protected by strict federal law.
Take yours at  today!
For shareable resources and more information, please visit .






3. Not online: Coronavirus puts some workforce training on hold 

  • How do you teach welding from a video screen?
  • How do you train a worker on an intricate, proprietary robot via distance learning?
  • Before the coronavirus outbreak shut down many of the state’s large employers last month, Alabama Industrial Development and Training agency, the Department of Commerce’s worker recruitment arm, was searching for and training about 30,000 workers for 133 manufacturers in about three dozen counties.
  • “Most are hunkering down,” AIDT Executive Director Ed Castile told Alabama Daily News. With the exception of a handful of companies, training at AIDT facilities has stopped, at least the hands-on, in person work.
  • “We’re trying to figure out all the ways we can do things, virtual classes rather than working on a piece of equipment,” Castile said.
  • Similarly, the cancelation of in-person classes at Alabama’s about two dozen community colleges has moved course work online. System leaders say students whose hands-on classes can’t be done virtually will get to make them up later, at no cost to them.
  • “Some of the courses, like welding, it’s hard to do those online,” Northeast Alabama Community College President David Campbell told Alabama Daily News.
  • Rachel Adams, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Community College System, said the system’s intent is that any student not able to complete their labs as part of their course assignments for the spring semester due to COVID-19 restrictions will be able to do so when facilities open again.
  • Likewise, Castile said when given the all clear from state leaders, AIDT will again start training the workers it had recruited.
  • “Wherever we stopped the process, that’s where they’ll start again,” Castile said. “It’s like we hit the pause button.”
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


4. Prison powder keg

  • Alabama prisons could see a dangerous outbreak of the new coronavirus that could kill hundreds and endanger many more, according to Department of Corrections analysis.
  •’s Connor Sheets got a hold of an internal document that detailed how the state’s prison infrastructure, the severe crowding and understaffing make it difficult to keep prisoners and guards at the kind of proper social distance we are all being asked to observe.
  • Commissioner Jeff Dunn told Sheets the department is doing all it can to keep the virus out of Alabama prisons and mitigate its impact if it comes.
  • It is yet another situation that highlights the problem the state faces with its prison system.
  • Last week, state budget leaders said planned increases for the prison budget aren’t likely now, nor are reforms being sought to demonstrate progress to the Department of Justice and the federal courts.
  • Read Conner Sheets’ full story HERE.



5. ICYMI – Q&A w/ Dr. Scott Harris

In case you missed it, ADN’s Mary Sell spoke to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris over the weekend for a deep dive into Alabama’s coronavirus response.
There’s a lot of new and useful information in her lengthy Q&A with Dr. Harris, including:
  • how the state got turned down in its request for more ventilators;
  • what the expected mortality rate for Alabama will be;
  • the pressure on state leaders to balance the economy with public health;
  • what Alabama’s biggest needs are.



A message from

The Alabama State Port Authority

To support Alabama’s manufacturing, retail/distribution, agribusiness and coal industries, we’re investing in seaport infrastructure, and adding capacity so that
Alabama companies remain competitive in the global market place.
Competitive Alabama companies mean prosperity and jobs.
The PORT. Delivering a World of Opportunity






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Americans brace for ‘hardest, saddest’ weeks of their lives


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In Alabama, renewed talk of expanding Medicaid


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Not online: Coronavirus puts some workforce training on hold


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama universities and colleges offer resources during crisis


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State health officer talks coronavirus prep, potential surge. ‘We really need for people to stay home’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump, Dems clash on boosting mail-in voting during pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid coronavirus pandemic, black mistrust of medicine looms


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey orders residents to stay home; Marshall says state will enforce


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest, April 5, 2020


AL.COM  – Alabama prison system’s COVID-19 plan anticipates widespread infection, deaths, National Guard intervention


AL.COM  – Coronavirus stalls Birmingham’s rebound, cripples small businesses


AL.COM   – Coronavirus shrunk his Alabama congregation to 10. Then six got sick.


AL.COM  – UA analysts say Alabama economy could be back on its feet by year’s end


AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: Ivey’s stay-at-home order is better late than never, or so we pray


AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: ‘#%& it. Why not dance?’


AL.COM  – Contributor Rachel Bryars: Woes and blessings in the age of coronavirus


Montgomery Advertiser – Hillview Terrace resident tests positive for COVID-19, facility says


Montgomery Advertiser – Geneva County remains as the only place in Alabama without a confirmed coronavirus case


Montgomery Advertiser – Wetumpka woman accused of drunken driving after Oregon man killed in single-vehicle wreck


YellowHammer News – How long does the novel coronavirus live on different surfaces?


YellowHammer News – State Health Officer Scott Harris: ‘We think the next two to three weeks are really going to be a tipping point for us’


YellowHammer News – State Finance Director Kelly Butler: ‘We’re still not anticipating having to prorate either budget’


Tuscaloosa News – Council to halt public hearings, certain votes in coronavirus response


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Council action from March 31, 2020


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Noise’ for ‘Heroes’ planned for Monday


Decatur Daily – Athens City Schools drive-thru meals schedule announced


Decatur Daily – COVID-19 cases continue to rise locally, statewide


Decatur Daily – Alabama tax revenue up in first six months of year, coronavirus ‘drop’ coming


Times Daily – United Way COVID-19 fund underway; annual campaign suffering


Times Daily – Employees in the Shoals give tips on working from home


Times Daily – UNA launches web page designed as a community resource


Anniston Star – Coronavirus changing pregnancy, delivery for Alabama women


Anniston Star – Ivey orders Alabamians to stay at home as COVID-19 cases, deaths rise; ‘essential activities’ allowed


Anniston Star – Alabama tax revenues rise first six months of year, coronavirus “drop” coming


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State health officer talks coronavirus prep, potential surge. ‘We really need for people to stay home’


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham woman with coronavirus recovers: ‘I really didn’t take it that seriously. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.’


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Ivey orders residents to stay home; Marshall says state will enforce



WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Sheriff Closes Offices to Walk-Ins Until Further Notice


WAFF Huntsville – Popular Tuscumbia tourist attraction closed during COVID-19 pandemic


WAFF Huntsville – State health officer talks coronavirus prep, potential surge. ‘We really need for people to stay home’


Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 – The Latest: Southeast Health records fifth coronavirus-related death Sunday morning


Dothan Eagle – Paying Your Respects: Area funeral services change during COVID-19 pandemic


Dothan Eagle – Sensory loss can lead to isolation and depression


Gadsden Times – Gadsden man arrested in Texas on child sex charges


Gadsden Times – ADPH says 31 deaths from COVID-19; 231 hospitalized


Gadsden Times – Local superintendents discuss plans for at-home education


Troy Messenger – Local healthcare providers preparing for COVID-19


Troy Messenger – COVID-19 cases still climbing in state, county


Troy Messenger – Ten cases confirmed in Pike County


Andalusia Star News – Governor issues stay at home order


Andalusia Star News – Students prepare for online classes


Andalusia Star News – Local banks await final rules, guidance for paycheck protection


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Opelika City Schools to continue to hand out lunches; Chambers County hits 90 confirmed cases, cases rise in east Alabama counties, state; Chambers County reporting sixth death; Opelika stores limit customers inside


Opelika-Auburn News – Gray, Whatley worry about COVID-19 hit to state schools, budgets


Opelika-Auburn News – SPECIAL REPORT: Answering tough questions surrounding nursing homes and coronavirus


Daily Mountain Eagle – Alabama issues statewide stay-home order starting Saturday


Daily Mountain Eagle – Sheriff’s department still at work but gradually feeling impacts from COVID-19


Daily Mountain Eagle – Blended instructional model unveiled for county students


Trussville Tribune – Trussville Police post public notice concerning harassing and vulgar messages


Trussville Tribune – Trussville Walmart parking lot littered with gloves, masks


Trussville Tribune – Alabama confirmed coronavirus cases sit at 1,666, official deaths jump to 31 with 45 reported


Athens News Courier – LUNCH MENUS: Limestone students can pick up school lunches Mondays and Thursdays at Athens Elementary School


Athens News Courier – ROAD WORK: Paving to begin Monday on Judy Drive, Somerest, Southside and Scotland Heights subdivision in Athens


Athens News Courier – Alabama infections pass 1,500 as stay-home order takes hold


Sand Mountain Reporter – Walmart makes changes to promote social distancing


Sand Mountain Reporter – Stay-at-home order issued for Alabama | Ivey: April stands to be tough, potentially deadly


Sand Mountain Reporter – Local company creates equipment to protect doctors from coronavirus


WSFA Montgomery – Coronavirus leaves church pews empty on Palm Sunday


WSFA Montgomery – 31 dead, Alabama surpasses 1,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases


WSFA Montgomery – No injuries after Montgomery mobile home fire


WKRG Mobile – Mobile County Health Department prepares for hurricane season with COVID-19


WKRG Mobile – Light it Up event continues to support medical community


WKRG Mobile – President Trump addresses a nation in for “the hardest and saddest week”


WTVY Dothan – Americans brace for ‘hardest, saddest’ week of their lives; Europe hopes crisis peaking


WTVY Dothan – Coronavirus closings and cancellations


WTVY Dothan – COVID-19 vaccine expected in over a year


WASHINGTON POST  – Americans hit by economic shocks as confusion, stumbles undermine Trump’s stimulus effort


WASHINGTON POST  – The Washington Post: The jobless statistics should guide Congress and the president on the next phase of recovery


WASHINGTON POST  – Inspector general who handled Ukraine whistleblower complaint says ‘it is hard not to think’ he was fired by Trump for doing his job


NEW YORK TIMES  – Governors Plead for Food Stamp Flexibility Amid Pandemic


NEW YORK TIMES  – He Led a Top Navy Ship. Now He Sits in Quarantine, Fired and Infected.


NEW YORK TIMES  – Virus tears across the US and states are scrambling


NEW YORK TIMES  – How Will We Know When It’s Time to Reopen the Nation?



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