Alabama stay at home rules start quietly as virus cases rise

A woman delivers medical supplies at a screening clinic at Hartselle Family Practice, organized by Decatur Morgan Hospital, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Hartselle, Ala. Those who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing are sent to another site. (Dan Busey/The Decatur Daily via AP)

As Alabama settles into a statewide stay at home order from the governor, the number of verified coronavirus cases continues to rise.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Alabama was at 783 on Sunday, the state Department of Public Health reported.

The official death count rose to four, but it wasn’t clear if any of those deaths included the five patients that Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said on Saturday had died at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

State health officials haven’t commented on the coroner’s statement beyond saying that its investigators are still reviewing a number of other deaths that could be virus-related.

Alabama became the latest state in the nation to close nonessential businesses as Kay Ivey’s stay at home order went into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday.

It closed gyms, barber shops, theaters, casinos, book stores, department stores, clothing stores and nail salons. Grocery stores and manufacturing plants aren’t included.

No major problems were reported in the state overnight with the new rules.

East of Mobile, police in Florida set up a checkpoint on Interstate 10 just after the highway crosses into the state over the Perdido River from Alabama.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told police to check for vehicles with Louisiana license plates. They will collect information for a state database and tell everyone in the vehicle to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Republished with the Permission of the Associated Press.