Marengo County COVID-19 death confirmed; WRH selected for new testing equipment

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Marengo County has a confirmed 24 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus as of Tuesday at 1 p.m. That number is an increase of 10 over a seven-day period.

Last week, the ADPH saw its first “reported death,” and since then it was confirmed the death was the result of COVID-19. A reported death represents a person who tested positive for the coronavirus and is now deceased.

Testing at Whitfield Regional Hospital continues on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those tested must meet certain criteria and have a testing order from a physician.

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Getting the results for some of these coronavirus tests locally will soon speed up as the hospital has been chosen as one of 15 sites statewide to receive the Abbot ID Now analyzer, allowing the hospital to provide rapid, on-site results. Initially, there are a limited number of tests for the analyzer and will be used for the most at-risk patients, according to WRH CEO Doug Brewer.

“It’s exciting to have been chosen as one of only 15 locations to receive this testing equipment,” Brewer said.

The hospital has also initiated protocols with UAB Hospital for transferring to Birmingham the most at-risk local patients.

As of Friday afternoon, the hospital had conducted 226 COVID-19 tests. Of those, 30 were positive as of Sunday, 182 negatives, one inconclusive and 13 are still pending. Brewer said the numbers have remained consistent over recent weeks.

“We are still providing about the same number of tests and our positive rate has stayed at about 13 percent,” Brewer said.