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Daily News Digest – April 7, 2020

Presented by

Alabama’s Locally-Owned Health Mart Community Pharmacies



Good morning!
Best of luck to all the parents and teachers out there who are on DAY TWO of distance learning from home.
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, April 7.



1. State virus cases top 2,000, more than 50 deaths

Layne Bjornseth, left, and her boyfriend, Ben Glover touch up a mural with chalk off Southampton Court in Decatur, Ala. Bjornseth’s inspiration for the artwork is to share a message of hope and encouragement during the coronavirus pandemic. (Dan Busey/The Decatur Daily via AP)

  • Alabama on Monday reported a significant jump in the number of COVID-19 patients, reaching more than 2,000 confirmed cases and more than 53 reported deaths.
  • The number of infections in Alabama rose by several hundred as results continued to be reported around the state.
  • An east Alabama hospital, serving one of the state’s outbreak areas, pleaded with people to stay home. East Alabama Medical Center urged people to practice social distancing guidelines, which included staying away from others outside their household. Lee and Chambers counties rank fifth and sixth out of Alabama’s 67 counties for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
  • The hospital said that “not much has changed in our community since (the state order) went into effect on Saturday. Children are still playing together, people are still congregating in public places, and stores are packed with people,” the hospital said.
  • Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Coronavirus changing pregnancy, delivery for Alabama women

  • In her third trimester, Veronica Wehby-Upchurch is having to adjust her maternity plans.
  • Because of the coronavirus outbreak, what she thought the final weeks of her pregnancy and birthing plan would look like could be much different.
  • “There’s a lot that’s unknown and it’s scary to think about that and how it might affect you and a brand new baby,” Wehby-Upchurch, of Birmingham, said.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it does not know if COVID-19 causes complications during pregnancy or how it will affect the baby’s health.
  • In the limited number of surveys of women who had COVID-19 while pregnant, none of the infants have tested positive for the virus after birth.
  • “We don’t have a lot of firm concrete data to say, these are the outcomes in pregnant women that get the coronavirus,” Dr. Jamie Routman, an OBGYN at Brookwood Women’s Medical Center, told Alabama Daily News. “So it’s hard to counsel patients and really reassure them with the lack of information that we have so far.”
  • The coronavirus has changed how hospitals are caring for their maternity patients.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck and Abby Driggers HERE.
  • Also, for new moms and moms to be, Alabama has a great resource for making sure children receive proper care and nurturing, including during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit





A message from

Alabama’s Locally-Owned Health Mart Community Pharmacies

  • Alabama’s community pharmacists are more than just the friendly faces that fill your prescriptions every month; they are an essential link in the healthcare chain.
  • In rural areas, community pharmacists are often the first – and sometimes the only – healthcare contact for residents in a community.
  • In addition to keeping Alabama communities healthy by filling prescriptions, most of the APCI network of community pharmacies provide vital healthcare services such as immunizations, clinical testing, and medication counseling.
  • We appreciate the pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy staff members – your friends and neighbors – in our locally-owned pharmacies who go above and beyond to safely meet the healthcare needs of Alabamians during this unprecedented time.





3. BCA to host small business forum on Alabama Public Television

  • After passage of the CARES Act, which offers hundreds of billions in economic relief for small businesses, employers everywhere are scrambling to understand how to access these funds.
  • For many, it could determine the success or failure of their businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • That’s why this week the Business Council of Alabama is partnering with Alabama Public Television to air a special small business exchange program designed to help employers file for new federal stimulus funding. The program will air on Thursday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time on APT stations statewide.
  • “We have to make sure that Alabama’s small businesses get the loans and support they deserve in these tough economic times,” said Katie Boyd Britt, president and CEO of BCA, said in a news release announcing the event.
  • “These business owners need as much help as we can give them to work through the process. The first step in getting Alabama back to work is to get this loan money flowing to our businesses.”
  • Read more HERE.



4. Driscoll tapped to lead Port Authority

  • John C. Driscoll will take over as head of the Alabama State Port Authority in Mobile, the agency announced Monday.
  • He will replace longtime Alabama state docks director Jimmy Lyons on June 1. Driscoll most recently worked as maritime director of the port in Oakland, California, and he worked for shipping companies Sea-Land Service, Maersk Line and CMA CGM before that.
  • Lyons, who has worked as chief executive at the state port in Mobile for more than two decades, will officially retire at the end of the year.
  • “I’ve observed over the years John’s incredible contributions to the industry. His abilities were affirmed through our extensive assessment of his body of work and my conversations with those who have worked with him. I am confident John will be an excellent fit for our seaport, our management team, and our employees, and I personally look forward to the transition,” Lyons said.
  • The port of Mobile ranks No. 11 among U.S. seaports by total trade. Alabama State Port Authority facilities handled more than 26 million tons of cargo last year.
  • Full story HERE.



5. Modeling coronavirus: ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty’

  • A statistical model cited by the White House generated a slightly less grim figure Monday for a first wave of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. — a projection designed to help officials plan for the worst, including having enough hospital staff, beds and ventilators.
  • The only problem with this bit of relatively good news? It’s almost certainly wrong. All models are wrong. Some are just less wrong than others — and those are the ones that public health officials rely on.
  • Welcome to the grimace-and-bear-it world of modeling.
  • The model updated this week by the University of Washington — the one most often mentioned by U.S. health officials at White House briefings — predicts daily deaths in the U.S. will hit a peak in mid-April then decline through the summer.
  • Their latest projection shows that anywhere from 49,431 to 136,401 Americans will die in the first wave, which will last into the summer. That’s a huge range of 87,000. But only a few days earlier the same team had a range of nearly 138,000, with 177,866 as the top number of deaths. Officials credit social distancing.
  • For Alabama, that model projects our peak will be on April 22 with 43 deaths that day, which is also an improvement from earlier.
  • The latest calculations are based on better data on how the virus acts, more information on how people act and more cities as examples. For example, new data from Italy and Spain suggest social distancing is working even better than expected to stop the spread of the virus.
  • One challenge for modelers is dealing with seesawing death totals from overburdened public health departments. A state’s data might show big swings in deaths — but only because a backlog of reports showed up all at once. The tremendous leaps in deaths in a single day could throw off predictions.
  • Read the full story HERE.



Letter: Dunn responds to report

  • Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn is responding to yesterday’s story about the dangers of the coronavirus spreading in Alabama prisons.
  • In a letter to the editor, Dunn says the Continuity of Operations Plan obtained by reporter Conner Sheets was proprietary, confidential and represented a moving model of what ADOC is doing to protect inmates and staff during this pandemic.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
On April 5, 2020, published an article entitled “Alabama prison system’s COVID-19 plan anticipates widespread infection, deaths, National Guard intervention.” In the article, the reporter outlines sensitive and confidential information contained in our Pandemic COOP, which many of ADOC’s team members have spent countless hours developing to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities. The story attempts to highlight two “worst-case scenarios” that were included in the plan for the purposes of scenario planning as “anticipated” or absolute outcomes, which is simply not the case. The publishing of this information in this manner was irresponsible and represents a lapse in good judgement during a national health emergency.
  • Read Dunn’s full letter HERE.




A message from

The Alabama Department of Archives & History

  • Explore Alabama’s history from the comfort of your couch!
  • With schools and businesses closed and social distancing required, the Archives has launched a new website, It features links to free resources from more than twenty organizations across the state.
  • The site includes links to virtual tours and exhibits, recorded public programs, documentaries, educational materials, digital collections, research databases, publications, and more. New content is added frequently.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama virus cases top 2,000, more than 50 deaths


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coronavirus changing pregnancy, delivery for Alabama women


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – BCA to host small business forum on Alabama Public Television


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Driscoll tapped to lead Port Authority


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Modeling coronavirus: ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump, Biden spoke by phone about coronavirus outbreak


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Letter: ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn responds to report


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 – Daily News Digest, April 6, 2020


AL.COM  – State Labor Department paid $6M in coronavirus-related unemployment claims last week


AL.COM  – New death rate projection less dire for Alabama, no longer worst in nation


AL.COM    – Advocates call for Alabama to release prisoners amid COVID-19 crisis


AL.COM  – Airbus halts airplane manufacturing in Mobile until April 29


AL.COM  – Evictions, foreclosures in Alabama are on hold; rent, mortgage still due


AL.COM  – Many Alabama schools stop serving meals to slow coronavirus, others keep serving


AL.COM  – Royal Cup Coffee announces layoffs, job eliminations


AL.COM  – Alabama lawmaker: Sister killed by COVID-19 ‘loved to see other people happy’


AL.COM  – Alabama uninsured patients with most severe COVID-19 cases could face huge bills, possible bankruptcy


Montgomery Advertiser – Overturned tractor-trailer shuts down I-65 south on ramp, police say


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Maxwell Air Force Base declares public health emergency


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama’s coronavirus case count passes 2,000, five days after it reached the 1,000 mark


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Brooks: Democrats putting America’s interests ‘behind their quest and thirst for political power’ on coronavirus



YellowHammer News – Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox urges citizens to ‘Make Some Noise’ in honor of those fighting coronavirus



YellowHammer News – UA Greek life donates food to local organizations


Tuscaloosa News – Schools back in session with new way of learning


Tuscaloosa News – Man, 2 children killed in Alabama house fire


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama virus cases top 2,000, more than 50 deaths


Decatur Daily – Falkville fire claims lives of father and 2 daughters


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



Decatur Daily – 3 virus patients in Athens-Limestone ICU


Times Daily – Suspect in fatal shooting shot after standoff


Times Daily – Harris: State’s peak should come by end of April


Times Daily – In Alabama, renewed talk of expanding Medicaid


Anniston Star – Q&A with Alabama’s state health officer on COVID-19: ‘We really need for people to stay home’


Anniston Star – St. Michael’s Medical Clinic offering support for those diagnosed with COVID-19


Anniston Star – In Alabama, renewed talk of expanding Medicaid


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Cullman manufacturer makes masks for COVID-19, city considers loan


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Kikstart plans to work with school districts to feed students during COVID-19 pandemic


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – In Alabama, renewed talk of expanding Medicaid


WAFF Huntsville – Morgan County deputy injured while searching for suspect


WAFF Huntsville – International Space Station will be visible from Huntsville 3 times this week


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville student, another teacher test positive for coronavirus


Dothan Eagle – Alabama tops 2,000 COVID-19 cases, death toll rising


Dothan Eagle – Eufaula man dies in one-vehicle accident


Dothan Eagle – Abbeville native killed by COVID-19 remembered as ‘a loving person who cared about others’


Troy Messenger – Sewing club donates masks to CAC staff, volunteers


Troy Messenger – Statewide cases top 2,000: Nursing home reports first case


Troy Messenger – Local nursing home resident tests positive for COVID-19


Andalusia Star News – Local boy teaches how to make masks without sewing machine


Andalusia Star News – City announces furlough of a third of employees


Andalusia Star News – CEC extends efforts to help customers during COVID-19


Gadsden Times – 32 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, 52 reported in Alabama


Gadsden Times – Ballplay Bend FD provides for community


Gadsden Times – Online forum to talk about family survival strategies


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: More than 50 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed or suspected coronavirus; Alabama hits 2,000 confirmed cases; Fuller signs executive order limiting store capacity in Opelika


Opelika-Auburn News – Video games in lockdown: Online play can keep kids connected


Opelika-Auburn News – “Music is just such a powerful tool” : Spicer’s Music offers virtual lessons during pandemic


Daily Mountain Eagle – Sumiton moving ahead with council meeting


Daily Mountain Eagle – Arts Alliance cancels Art in the Park


Trussville Tribune – Entry to Cosby Lake in Clay blocked by barriers


Trussville Tribune – Wall Street has best day in two weeks on signs that coronavirus deaths could be slowing


Trussville Tribune – Alabama Department of Labor paid more than $6 million in unemployment benefits in just one week


Athens News Courier – Commission OKs new polling location for July runoff


Athens News Courier – Man, 2 children killed in Falkville house fire


Athens News Courier – Athens plans to digitize cemetery information


Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County Coroner confirms one death due to COVID-19


Sand Mountain Reporter – ADPH answers questions about stay-at-home order


Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville schools go online | Superintendent discusses district’s plan moving forward


WSFA Montgomery – Huntsville student, another teacher test positive for coronavirus


WSFA Montgomery – Man arrested after victim stabbed in the heart


WSFA Montgomery – Rep. Sewell: Ala. to get about $2 billion from packages passed by Congress


WKRG Mobile – City of Pensacola shuts down tennis courts, restrooms at public parks


WKRG Mobile – Foley PD searching for masked gunman who robbed gas station


WKRG Mobile – Daphne City Council adopts mayor’s COVID-19 relief proposal with amendments


WTVY Dothan – Attorney wants Alabama prisoners released early because of coronavirus


WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass church holds park and pray at local hospitals


WTVY Dothan – Geneva is the last county in the state of Alabama without a COVID-19 case


WASHINGTON POST  – Worried that $2 trillion law wasn’t enough, Trump and congressional leaders converge on need for new coronavirus economic package


WASHINGTON POST  – As coronavirus layoffs surge in richer countries, poorer ones lose vital remittance payments


NEW YORK TIMES  – Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic


NEW YORK TIMES  – Wall St. Set to Rise as Investors Take Heart in Signs of Progress



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