MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's official death toll from the coronavirus rose Tuesday as the total number of confirmed cases neared 1,000.
Total COVID-19 infections in Alabama stood near 950 on Tuesday morning, the state Department of Public Health reported. The official death count rose to 13.
However, the tally did not include some of the seven deaths reported by the East Alabama Medical Center, a hospital in Opelika.
The state has a process for reviewing deaths before adding them to the official count. Department of Public Health said in a Monday statement that a department physician reviews the records of COVID-19 patients to determine whether a death should be attributed to the virus.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday urged people to remain at home if they can.
"These are uncertain times for sure. So now, and for the foreseeable future, please, please consider staying safe at home," Ivey said in a video message released by her office.
The state has ordered the closures of non-essential businesses such as gyms, barber shops, theaters, casinos, bookstores, department stores, clothing stores and nail salons. Grocery stores, restaurants offering take-out and manufacturing plants are not included.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, and the overwhelming majority of people recover. But severe cases can need respirators to survive, and with infections spreading exponentially, hospitals across the country are either bracing for a coming wave of patients, or already struggling to keep up.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.