ALABAMA (WRBL) – Alabama’s number of coronavirus cases rose to more than 8,100 as testing continues nationally and the state reopens its economy.
As of 6:35/5:35 p.m. CDT, the state of Alabama has a total of 8,112 cases of COVID-19, the state reporting 214 new cases of the virus since noon.
The state is now reporting 298 deaths due to the virus, with six new deaths since noon.
To date, 1,080 Alabamians have been hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19.
Lee County is now up to 403 cases of the virus, adding three new cases since noon.
Chambers County has added two new cases since noon, the total for the county now 302.
Russell County is at 63 cases, adding two new cases since noon.
Barbour County remains at 45 cases.
Alabama lawmakers have resumed a shortened legislative session focused on state budgets. Legislators had taken a nearly two month break during the COVID-19 outbreak but returned to Montgomery to pass state budgets and a few other bills. Only 60 members of the 105-member House answered roll.
The Alabama Department of Labor says more than $503 million in COVID-19 related unemployment compensation benefits have now been distributed. Payments to 84% of those filing COVID-19 related active claims have now been filled. Alabama is now paying benefits under all three programs covered in the CARES Act: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
Alabama’s top official for K-12 schools says public schools closed because of the coronavirus could bring some students back in June as part of a phased reopening. Alabama State Superintendent Eric Mackey says children 13 and older could return to campus in groups of 10 or fewer people for athletic practice and possibly summer school starting June 8. Younger students could get the go-ahead to return for summer literacy camps as early as July 6. But Mackey warned those dates were tentative
Gov. Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home order went into effect on Thursday. It allows retail stores and beaches to reopen but keeps dining areas closed in restaurants across the state. Local business owners are feeling frustrated as this decision is beyond their control.
The live tracker managed by the state showing COVID-19 data continues to update in real time.
**Note, all counties in the WRBL viewing area contribute to the count of local cases in Alabama.