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Daily News Digest – March 25, 2020

Good morning!
Not to concern you, but Prince Charles has the coronavirus . England seems to have a bit of a problem.
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, March 25.

1. Ivey: no plans for statewide shelter-in-place; Bham says make it so

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris addresses the media during the latest briefing from the Alabama Department of Public Health. (Taylor Hill, Alabama Daily News)
  • Gov. Kay Ivey said on Tuesday that she has no plans as of now to issue a shelter-in-place order for the state to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, Alabama’s most populated city has issued just such an order for its residents.
  • During a conference call with news outlets Tuesday afternoon, Ivey said that protecting citizens’ health while maintaining Alabama’s economy were her main concerns during the pandemic.
  • “The safety and wellbeing of Alabamians is paramount, however, I agree with President Trump who thinks that a healthy and vital economy is just as essential to our quality of life,” Ivey said.
  • Currently, 17 states have issued statewide shelter-in-place orders, asking residents not to leave their homes except for essential tasks.
  • As of Tuesday evening, Alabama reported 242 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Cases have now been confirmed in 26 counties, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Ninety of those were in Jefferson County, the state’s most populated county.
  • Birmingham City Mayor Randall Woodfin proposed and the city council approved a citywide shelter-in-place ordinance Tuesday. The ordinance prohibits Birmingham residents from leaving home unless they have a job essential to the public good, or if they need to pick up food or medicine or wish to exercise.
  • “We have to do everything necessary to prevent the [virus’] spread,” Woodfin told the council ahead of its vote. “Even if this is the unpopular decision, it is the right thing to do.”
  • Ivey said that even though Birmingham may “shut down,” that does not mean the rest of the state will.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


2. Tornado hits north Alabama

  • A suspected tornado heavily damaged a store and other structures Tuesday in northern Mississippi and Alabama as a severe storm system crossed the Deep South, authorities said.
  • Police Chief Mike Kemp in Tishomingo, Mississippi, told broadcast outlet WTVA that minor injuries were reported in that community and that a Dollar General store there had major damage.
  • National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Johnson said there were reports of widespread tree damage and some structural damage in Tishomingo County, which is in northern Mississippi abutting the Alabama line.
  • He said the tornado touched down about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • “It’s a pretty compact system that produced the tornado and it’s moved into parts of Alabama and Tennessee,” Johnson said.
  • The National Weather Service had issued multiple tornado warnings through the early evening, including a “tornado emergency” for an area of northwest Alabama.
  • The National Weather Service in Huntsville tweeted shortly before 6 p.m. that “TORNADO HAS BEEN REPORTED ON THE GROUND” and told residents in an area of Colbert County in north Alabama to seek shelter. That county also abuts the Mississippi state line.
  • The weather service also said there were preliminary reports of falling debris in the area.
  • Robert Boyd, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Huntsville, Alabama, said severe weather warnings had been issued for northwest Alabama on Tuesday evening.
  • Severe weather watches also were posted for parts of Georgia and Tennessee as the storm system moved across the South during the nighttime hours.
  • Read more from the Times Daily HERE.


3. Unemployment claims skyrocket

  • Thousands of Alabamians are filing for unemployment benefits, sometimes overwhelming the state application system, as the coronavirus pandemic causes workplaces to temporarily close or reduce operations.
  • Nearly 17,000 people filed unemployment claims over just two days — Sunday and Monday— according to preliminary numbers given by Alabama Department of Labor spokeswoman Tara Hutchison.
  • Health officials have acknowledged the economic cost of mandatory closures, but say they’re crucial to slow the outbreak as caseloads grow exponentially, threatening to overwhelm hospitals. People can be contagious without showing symptoms and spend days infecting others before falling ill.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



4. White House, Congress reach deal on stimulus

  • The White House and Senate leaders of both political parties announced agreement early Wednesday on an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency bill to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The urgently needed pandemic response measure is the largest economic rescue measure in history and is intended as a weekslong or monthslong patch for an economy spiraling into recession and a nation facing a potentially ghastly toll.
  • Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight, capping days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure. Some final pieces of the agreement need to be finalized in detailed legislative language.
  • The Senate is likely to pass the measure Wednesday afternoon. In the House, both Democratic and Republican leaders hope to clear the measure for President Donald Trump’s signature by a voice vote without having to call lawmakers back to Washington, but that may prove challenging, as the bill is sure to be opposed by some conservatives upset at its cost and scope. Ardent liberals were restless as well.
  • The economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
  • One of the last issues of negotiation concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help as well.
  • The rescue package would be larger than the 2008 bank bailout and 2009 recovery act combined.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Alabamians encouraged to give blood

  • It’s safe to donate blood – and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, donation centers say blood supplies are needed statewide.
  • A national shortage of blood supply is expected as concerns about the coronavirus keep people from donating. In Alabama, citizens are urged to donate.
  • “The blood supply could dip to dangerously low levels in the next few weeks if donations don’t increase,” said Bob Shepard, public relations manager of health and medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Usual donation practices have been disrupted by the novel coronavirus and UAB and area blood collection agencies are urging blood donation.”
  • Shepard said the hospital system has ‘sufficient’ blood supply for the immediate future.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency has identified blood donation as an “essential and integral component of the emergency support function” according to its website.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of the largest users nationally of blood supplied by the American Red Cross. According to its website, the Red Cross “faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak.”
  • The shortage means hospitals across the nation are taking proactive measures to conserve the blood available.
  • Read more from ADN’s Abby Driggers HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: No shelter-in-place order needed for state right now; Bham says make it so


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House, Congress agree on $2 trillion virus rescue bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Possible twister: Damage reports at Mississippi-Alabama line


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabamians encouraged to give blood


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment claims skyrocket amid pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Crisis highlights digital divide in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers: Coronavirus could ‘doom’ much of legislative session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – At a glance: $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus fears, isolation can trigger anxiety. Here are some tips on how to cope.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 24, 2020


AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey says no current plans for statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order


AL.COM  – 242 COVID-19 cases now in Alabama


AL.COM  – Mobile struggles to get people to stop going to “packed out” parks


AL.COM  – Shelter-in-place order enacted in Birmingham to stop coronavirus spread


AL.COM  – Who is on the front line in Alabama’s fight against coronavirus?


AL.COM  – A parent’s nightmare: Coronavirus in an Alabama NICU


AL.COM  – Riverchase Galleria ‘temporarily’ closes due to coronavirus


AL.COM  – Civil liberties and coronavirus safety: Some say Alabama is going too far


AL.COM  – ‘Last resort’: Alabama’s plan for deciding which coronavirus patients get ventilators


AL.COM  – Alabama’s K-12 schools: Here’s what we know right now


AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: In grief for normal life


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus in Alabama: 242 cases statewide, Autauga County reports first case


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Gov. Kay Ivey reluctant to issue shelter-in-place order


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama superintendent wants to make coronavirus school closure extension decision Thursday


YellowHammer News – Ivey in COVID-19 update: No statewide shelter-in-place order is planned — ‘We are not California, we are not New York’


YellowHammer News – Trump: ‘Our country wants to go back to work’


YellowHammer News – Nick Saban: Social distancing ‘important’ — ‘Stay at home if at all possible’


Tuscaloosa News – Mayor: Tuscaloosa could have almost 30 COVID-19 cases


Tuscaloosa News – Tennessee man killed in interstate crash


Tuscaloosa News – Maddox plans new town hall on COVID-19


Decatur Daily – 2 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Morgan County


Decatur Daily – Ivey: No plans for a statewide shelter in place order


Decatur Daily – Lawmakers: Coronavirus could ‘doom’ much of state’s legislative session


Times Daily – Tornado strikes Colbert County


Times Daily – Hospital chief of staff says Shoals residents can keep COVID-19 cases from spiking


Times Daily – Lawmakers: Coronavirus could ‘doom’ much of legislative session


Times Daily – Virus fears, isolation can trigger anxiety


Anniston Star – New COVID-19 cases in St. Clair, Talladega counties; Alabama count hits 242


Anniston Star – Calhoun, Cleburne coroners taking extra precautions for pandemic


Anniston Star – Alabama lawmakers: Coronavirus could ‘doom’ much of legislative session



WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Ivey: No shelter-in-place order needed for state right now



WRBC Fox 6 Birmingham – Pharmacies facing shortages on some popular brands, generic available for now


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Lawmakers: Coronavirus could ‘doom’ much of legislative session


WAFF Huntsville – Is it safe to handle mail during COVID-19 outbreak?


WAFF Huntsville – Mayor: Madison City Hall open and operational after employee tests positive for COVID-19


WAFF Huntsville – More changes at Redstone Arsenal gates, facilities this week


Dothan Eagle – Coronavirus catchup: Virus cases, Dow both surge. Here are ups and downs today in the battle against COVID-19


Dothan Eagle – Area volunteers heed call to sew masks for hospitals as COVID-19 outbreak causes shortage


Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 – The Latest: Alabama confirmed cases reach 242; Ivey has no plans for “shelter-in-place” order; Southeast Health reports its second case


Gadsden Times – Governor reluctant to issue shelter-in-place order


Gadsden Times – Two charged with sexual abuse of nursing home patients


Gadsden Times – Severe thunderstorms possible this afternoon


Troy Messenger – ‘If you’re healthy, why not give?’ Troy University and the Red Cross host blood drive


Troy Messenger – Second phase of sidewalk project underway in downtown


Troy Messenger – Salvation Army reschedules Empty Bowls fundraiser


Andalusia Star News – From Dr. Bang: Tylenol vs. Motrin




Andalusia Star News – Child First Program suspended temporarily


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Seven virus patients hospitalized at EAMC; Lee, Chambers and Tallapoosa counties confirmed cases rise, state cases pass 240 mark


Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC prepping for more hospitalizations, seven confirmed cases currently hospitalized, AU student contracts virus


Opelika-Auburn News – Coronavirus catchup: Virus cases, Dow both surge. Here are ups and downs today in the battle against COVID-19


Daily Mountain Eagle – Senior centers continue to serve


Daily Mountain Eagle – Dora, Sumiton adjust to COVID-19 restrictions


Daily Mountain Eagle – Library system continues to offer services during shutdown


Trussville Tribune – Federal officials reach deal on $2 trillion aid package


Trussville Tribune – Ivey: No plans for a statewide shelter in place order


Trussville Tribune – UAB treating 45 COVID-19 patients, Gov. Ivey concerned about possible ventilator shortage


Athens News Courier – Athens mayor provides COVID-19 update


Athens News Courier – Limestone under tornado watch until 10 p.m.


Athens News Courier – UPDATED: Multiple COVID-19 cases confirmed in Limestone County


Sand Mountain Reporter – Recycling center closes to public, still accepts drop-offs


Sand Mountain Reporter – Asbury man arrested for shooting another person ‘in the face’


Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz declares state of emergency | Mayor encourages residents to stay strong, continue supporting small businesses


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery’s confirmed COVID-19 cases triple in 24 hours, nearly 300 tests pending


WSFA Montgomery – Facebook group spreading positivity during COVID-19 outbreak


WSFA Montgomery – AARP offers tips to navigate coronavirus storm


WKRG Mobile – Thousands of Alabamians file for unemployment as the coronavirus crisis continues


WKRG Mobile – Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus


WKRG Mobile – Council on Aging of West Florida makes changes, shuts down adult day care center


WTVY Dothan – Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Alabama up to 242


WTVY Dothan – Coronavirus closings and cancellations


WTVY Dothan – Troy University hosts blood drive despite many being canceled


WASHINGTON POST  – Senate, White House reach $2 trillion stimulus deal to blunt coronavirus fallout


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump wants U.S. economy ‘opened up and raring to go’ by Easter


WASHINGTON POST  – Scramble for medical equipment descends into chaos as U.S. states and hospitals compete for rare supplies


WASHINGTON POST  – The coronavirus isn’t mutating quickly, suggesting a vaccine would offer lasting protection


WASHINGTON POST  – Study: Vast majority of markets across the U.S. see marginal improvement in home affordability


NEW YORK TIMES  – Obamacare Turns 10. Here’s a Look at What Works and Doesn’t


NEW YORK TIMES  – Restaurant Closings Inflict Collateral Damage on Other Businesses



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