Alabama coronavirus

UA tests students for COVID-19 upon return to campus

Jan 12, 2021


Students returning to the University of Alabama have one bit of homework to do before the start of classes tomorrow.

Heathcare providers want all 10,000 students living on campus to be retested for the coronavirus. Today is the deadline for those tests to be done.

Alabama mayor hospitalized with coronavirus infection

Jan 11, 2021

Another Alabama mayor has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the fifth city leader to battle the virus.

Northport mayor Bobby Herndon posted an update on Facebook Monday saying that he was admitted to the hospital Sunday night after learning he had tested positive. In the post, the 67-year-old mayor also said his breathing is fine but that he is being treated for blood clots. 

Auburn provost Bill Hardgrave


Faculty members at Auburn University have called for a vote of no-confidence in provost Bill Hardgrave over his handling of class scheduling amid the coronavirus pandemic. The University Senate is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to address the complaints.

Grievances have been voiced for months since more than 500 faculty members met virtually in November to address Hardgrave's insistence on returning to in-person instruction in the spring.

Alabama hospital opening permanent drive-thru clinic

Jan 11, 2021
COVID-19 coronavirus test


East Alabama is getting a permanent drive-thru clinic thanks to a local hospital. 

Elmore Community Hospital in Wetumpka will open the clinic on Tuesday and will operate from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. five days a week. Spokesperson Heidi Smith said the clinic is meant to help COVID-19 patients and other nearby clinics that are overwhlemed. 

Patients wanting to visit the clinic must sign up in advance to schedule a time to come.


State medical groups are sponsoring a video contest to explain why it’s important to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association, and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama are sponsoring the “Mask Up Alabama” video contest.

The videos should be 30-second or less and need to highlight basic information related to mask-wearing and COVID-19.

Birmingham mayor released after COVID-19 treatment

Jan 6, 2021


The Birmingham mayor has been released after being hospitalized for COVID-19. 

The city said Randall Woodfin went home Wednesday to continue recovering and quarantine.

The 39-year-old was admitted to Princeton Baptist Medical Center on Monday with pneumonia in his left lung caused by the virus. He was treated with Remdesivir and convalescent plasma therapy during his stay in the hospital.


Several mayors in Alabama’s major cities have announced they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.


Alabama veterans will be among the first in the state to receive the coronavirus vaccine. 

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs said residents and staff at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City will receive the first round of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. The three other state veterans' homes will administer vaccines over the next two weeks.

Christmas in the ICU: Decorations, lights and many tears

Dec 22, 2020
East Alabama Medical Center
Associated Press


Holidays are not easy for anyone this year thanks to COVID-19, but one Alabama hospital is doing its best to cheer up those who will be spending them away from home and family. 

Staff members at East Alabama Medical Center have decorated the intensive care unit with Christmas trees, snowman stickers and lights. They said they hope that the merriment lightens the mental load of their patients. 

Alabama hospital ends elective surgeries over virus spike

Dec 17, 2020


A hospital in Dothan is suspending elective surgeries because of an increase of COVID-19 patients needing care.

Southeast Health announced that the change would take effect on Thursday and asked residents to wear face masks and continue to take other safety steps. 

Nursing students, teachers to fill gaps at UAB Hospital

Dec 16, 2020


Graduate students and faculty from the University of Alabama at Birmingham nursing school are going to begin working with COVID-19 patients.

All 120 people joining the UAB Hospital care team are licensed nurses. Undergraduate students will also be helping as technicians with vaccine distribution.

The hospital has already enlisted retired nurses to help with patient care due to being short-staffed.

The Alabama Department of Public Health isn’t saying which three hospitals got the first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for security sake. 

Cullman Regional Medical Center says it will start giving shots today.

Alabama loosens licensing rules for doctors as virus rages

Dec 15, 2020

Out-of-state doctors will now have an easier time working in Alabama amidst the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine.

Two medical boards decided to let physicians from other states and Canada seek temporary emergency licenses to work in the state. 

The Alabama Hospital Association reported staff shortages due to an inadequate number of beds and lack of staff members to treat patients because they are also falling ill. 

The announcement was made Monday when initial shipment of 41,000 doses of vaccine started arriving in Alabama.


A Medal of Honor recipient from Alabama who died of COVID-19 will be laid to rest this week at Arlington National Cemetry. 

The body of Bennie G. Adkins of Opelika was escorted to the Atlanta airport by the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Monday and will be buried with full military honors on Wednesday in Arlington. He will rest beside his late wife, who died last year. 

Adkins was 86 when he died in April after contracting COVID-19.

State virus deaths top 4,000 as state sets virus records

Dec 11, 2020

The number of COVID-19 patients in Alabama continues to grow as the avilabilty of intensive care beds is on the decline. 

Cases and hospitalizations have both hit new highs this week.

Head of the Alabama Hospital Association Dr. Don Williamson said the increase is a result of Thanksgiving gatherings. 

The percentage of empty ICU beds hit a new low of 7 percent while the number of confirmed and probable virus deaths topped 4,000 on Thursday.

COVID-19 minorities

COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Alabama, but help may be on the way. Over 40,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are expected to come to the Yellowhammer State next week. 

Studies have shown throughout the pandemic that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting minority communities. However, many in the Black community appear hesitant to get the vaccine. Researchers believe this is tied to a long-held distrust of the government because of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

Kay Ivey
Associated Press

Gov. Kay Ivey has extended Alabama's mask and "safer at home" orders through to Jan. 22, 2021.

Ivey made the announcement as just two days before both orders were set to expire. 

Alabama's COVID-19 cases continue to rise after the Thanksgiving holiday.


Customers of Walmart and Sam’s Club can buy home test kits for COVID-19. 

The chain, which operates close to 150 stores in Alabama, said the kits are available online. Walmart and Sam’s Club are offering the kits in partnership with a California-based company. This isn’t the home kit approved by the FDA last month.

Dr. Richard Friend is the Dean of the University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences and said the concern with these kits is how test results are confirmed.

Guntersville City Schools

The superintendent of Guntersville City Schools announced his retirement due to the coronavirus on Monday.

Brett Stanton cited the challenges public education has undergone due to COVID-19 as his reason for leaving. He started serving as superintendent in 2015 and said his last day will be Dec. 14.

The school board is working on finding temporary leadership until they hire Stanton's replacement.

 Larry Dixon
Associated Press

A former state senator expressed regret over his mishandling of COVID-19 before dying from the virus last week.

Larry Dixon died at the age of 78 on Friday after telling his wife he messed up by letting his guard down. He told her to tell people that the virus is real. 

Dr. David Thrasher has shared the details of the former senator's final moments with the family's permission in the hopes that people learn how quickly and easily the virus spreads.

Governor Ivey's "Safer at Home" order set to end Friday

Dec 8, 2020

Governor Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home order is set to end this Friday. The current action is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Alabama and the growing number of cases and deaths from the virus. It requires limits on the number of people in restaurants, bars, and other venues. It also continues the call for social distancing and the wearing of face masks. Dr. Karen Landers is a physician with the Alabama Department of Public Health. She says relaxed restrictions aren’t an excuse for unsafe behavior.

Alabama COVID-19 Update: Dec. 7 2020

Dec 7, 2020

Alabama hits new record for virus hospitalizations

Dec 7, 2020
UAB Hospital

A record number of Alabamians are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

On Monday over 2,000 patients were in hospitals around the state.

Dr. Don Williamson, head of the Alabama Hospital Association, said at least three hospitals began postponing non-emergency procedures due to staff shortages. Williamson is concerned that the holidays will only make things worse.

As of Monday, 272,229 Alabamians had the virus, 2,079 were hospitalized, 3,892 have died due to COVID-19.


The Alabama statewide mask mandate is set to expire next Friday and health officials are asking leaders to extend it.

Dr. Sarah Nafziger of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said it's "critically important" for Gov. Kay Ivey to maintain the requirement. The head of the Alabama Hospital Association said the organization would support the extension of the mandate into January of next year.

As of Friday, Alabama has 264199 cases of COVID-19.

World War II vet beats COVID-19, marks 104th birthday

Dec 3, 2020
Holly Wooten McDonald via AP

An Alabama veteran just turned 104 after beating the coronavirus. 

Major Wooten of Madison is recovering and on the mend according to his granddaughter who said the virus made him physically drained and mentally fuzzy. 

Wooten tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 23 after his daughter had the virus. He was treated in the hospital and went home Tuesday, just two days before turning 104.

Alabama sets new record of daily COVID-19 cases

Dec 3, 2020
COVID-19 coronavirus

Alabama reported over 3,000 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a new record high. 

Dr. Scott Harris said that 1,801 people were hospitalized with the virus, which is the highest number the state has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to officials with the Alabama Hospital Association, one in three intensive care patients in Alabama have COVID-19. 


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is now pushing for school systems across the state to go back to in-person learning as soon as possible in 2021. 

“Due to COVID-19, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, especially for our parents, teachers and students," Ivey said in a press release from her office on Tuesday. "I’m extremely grateful for the flexibility everyone has shown as they have adapted to virtual instruction. However, virtual and remote instruction are stop-gap measures to prevent our students from regressing academically during the pandemic."

hospital bed

A wave of COVID-19 cases is starting to overwhelm Alabama hospitals after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

On Monday the Alabama Hospital Association said only 11 percent of the state's intensive care beds were available. Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said health care systems could be overwhelmed in as soon as two weeks.

There have been 252,900 cases of the coronavirus in Alabama and 3,638 people have died.