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Watch the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including regular White House briefings.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The former co-owner of an Alabama pharmacy has pleaded guilty in what prosecutors describe as a scheme involving improper billing for medication. 

Federal prosecutors say 55-year-old Jeffrey Black of Destin, Florida, pleaded guilty Friday to multiple felony counts. Black is a former co-owner of Northside Pharmacy in Haleyville. The company did business as Global Compounding Pharmacy.

aptv.org / Alabama Public Television

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Public Television says it will be offering more academic programming since the virus outbreak has forced officials to close schools for the rest of the academic year. 

An announcement says the network is modifying the schedule on its main channel starting April 6 to offer more shows for grades kindergarten through 12. And teachers and parents will have access to supplemental lesson plans to help out children.

Individual school districts around the state are separately developing plans for how to teach students while schools are closed.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — As Alabama settles into a statewide stay at home order from the governor, the number of verified coronavirus cases continues to rise.

Heath officials said the number of COVID-19 infections in Alabama was at 783 on Sunday.

The official death count rose to four, but the state still hasn't recorded any fatal cases from Lee County, where Coroner Bill Harris said Saturday that five more people had died at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

cw.ua.edu

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has enacted a 24-hour curfew within the city of Tuscaloosa starting Sunday.

Maddox made the announcement in a news conference Thursday at 8 p.m., saying that the COVID-19 situation is rapidly worsening and the only way to help reduce the numbers of people catching the virus is enacting stricter rules.

The curfew, which begins 10 p.m. Sunday and runs through April 11, will close nonessential businesses such as night clubs, gyms, spas, hair salons and retail stores not offering essential services.

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Here’s a list of which types of businesses are affected by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s closure of nonessential businesses from 5 p.m. March 28 to April 17, along with a rundown of businesses still allowed to operate.

Nonessential businesses required to close

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Alabama's total of Coronavirus cases is now at 783, with four deaths. That fourth fatality is in Mobile County, which has thirty nine cases of its own. Another issue connected to the COVID-19 outbreak is the mental health impact. Video of people fighting over toilet paper in supermarkets has made the news lately. Dr. Thaddeus Ulzen is the chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. He says sheltering at home is leaving people with the feeling that their lives are out of control and the toilet paper fights are a sign of that.

Chance and Lily, Spy Cats [Flickr]

The mental health benefits of having a dog or cat include help with depression, stress, anxiety - not to mention the companionship they provide to ease our loneliness.  Sounds like just the right prescription for a time such as this!

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The State of Alabama is up to an updated 694 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, and three deaths linked to the illness. While the case load increases, the University of Alabama in Birmingham is looking for a few good COVID-19 patients. The school is taking part in a study that may lead to a treatment for Coronavirus. UAB is one of seventy five participants in a test of drug called Remdesivir. Dr. Paul Goepfert is leading the Birmingham research team. He says four hundred test subjects are being sought for a step by step process.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package into law, after swift and near-unanimous action by Congress this week. 

The package will support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic.

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