If you missed the latest COVID-19 news, here is the week in review


In this Coronavirus crisis, the news is coming at you so quickly that it is hard to grasp.

So, this morning here’s a recap of some of what happened last week in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley.

We have also provided links if you want to know more.

FIVE DIE AT EAST ALABAMA MEDICAL CENTER: On Saturday, the Lee County’s Coroner confirmed five people have died in the county from COVID-19 at East Alabama Medical Center.

“As of 3:15 pm Saturday, Lee County has had five deaths related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). All five have died at East Alabama Medical Center since early Friday morning,” said Coroner Bill Harris. Two were from Lee County and three were from neighboring Chambers County.

PIEDMONT COLUMBUS REGIONAL UPDATE: Piedmont Columbus Regional has converted one floor of its Midtown hospital to COVID-19 patients only, a spokesperson confirmed to News 3.

All of the confirmed COVID-19 patients will be treated in what the hospital is calling a cohort unit.

The Piedmont Columbus Regional Northside hospital will transfer its COVID-19 cases or those suspected to have the virus to the Midtown campus.

FORT BENNING REPORTS SIXTH COVID-19 CASE: Fort Benning has reported a sixth confirmed case of COVID-19.

According to a news release on Friday, Martin Army Community Hospital received notification from a Tricare Network Lab about a local off-post resident, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Fort Benning numbers are counted in the Georgia Department of Public Health numbers.

ALBANY A HOTSPOT: Georgia National Guard medical teams have deployed into Albany over the last two days, according to a news release from the Phoebe Healthcare system.

The military support comes as an additional 91 people in the Phoebe system, which is centered out of Dougherty County, tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. That brings the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Phoebe system to 357.

By comparison, there have been eight confirmed cases in Muscogee County, which is more than twice the size of Dougherty County. Albany is 80 miles south of Columbus.

FOLLOWING THE NUMBERS: As of Saturday night, there were 2,446 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia and 79 deaths. There were 41 cases in the Columbus region, including eight reported cases in Muscogee County and one in Harris County.

In Alabama, there were 702 confirmed cases and nine deaths. Five of those deaths came at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

If you want to track the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Georgia and Alabama, both states are providing websites that allow for easy access to that information. WRBL News 3 continues to report updates when the new numbers are available.

Alabama has been updating at least twice a day.

Georgia updates its data at noon and 7 p.m. EST each day.

IF YOU NEED TESTING IN COLUMBUS: There are several ways you can access testing in Columbus and Muscogee County.

One is to call your personal doctor.

You can call the West Central Georgia Health District at 706 321-6300. That will provide access to a drive-through testing site behind the district’s Comer Avenue office. This testing is only open to Georgia residents.

You can also contact Piedmont Columbus Regional, which is also doing drive-through testing. That toll free number at 1-866-460-1119. You have to be screened by phone before testing. They are serving patients from across the Chattahoochee Valley.

COLUMBUS SUSPENDS YARD WASTE AND RECYCLING PICKUP: The city of Columbus is continuing its regular curbside trash collection, but has temporarily halted the pickup of yard debris and recycling, the city announced on Friday.

DON”T PLAY IN COLUMBUS PARKS: You can still use the city parks for walking and exercise, but you must social distance.

The Declaration of Local Emergency issued by Mayor Skip Henderson on March 20 has been amended, adding the order that all city recreational facilities and all recreational equipment located within city parks are off limits until April 6.

The added order includes all tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, exercise stations, pavilions, and playground equipment.

CAN’T LEAVE YOU WITH ALL BAD NEWS: One Columbus mother has found a way to entertain her child, and now the entire neighborhood is in on it.

This week Tasha Edwards put out a call to her downtown Historic District neighbors to display bears — not the real kind but Teddy Bears — at their homes. More than three dozen neighbors have gotten in on the game thanks to the social media plea.

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