CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – Clarke County was one of the last counties in the WKRG News 5 viewing area to start showing confirmed cases of COVID-19. Officials know the number of positive cases will continue to rise and they don’t want residents to let their guards down.
“Are those numbers accurate for that moment? Maybe, maybe not, because those who go to a private lab still have to go to the public health lab for confirmation. Once they’re confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health then they’ll show up on that list,” said EMA Director Roy Waite.
He says up until recently a lot of the hospitals weren’t sending tests directly to the state, which may have prolonged the results for some people.
“Previously they had been using private labs. So if that goes to a private lab that takes, in some cases we’ve had 10-12 days to get those results back,” he said.
Luckily, all of the hospitals in Clarke County are now seeing results a lot sooner. However, like other counties, officials are not allowed to tell residents exactly where a person lives.
“That would be private information we will not get that. The best we will get will be a zip code. People seem to get concerned over where the people live at. At this point we should consider everyone as a potential and you should take the same precautions whether you know if that individual has the virus or not,” said Waite.
The Alabama Department of Public Health tells News 5 the rural counties in our area may be slower to report numbers in part because a lot of interaction with each other is spread out when compared to areas with more people.