Confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to escalate locally and statewide this evening as businesses prepared for state-ordered temporary shutdowns of numerous retailers that take effect Saturday at 5 p.m.

As of 8 p.m., there were 13 confirmed cases in Morgan County, up from nine a day ago. Limestone County has 16 cases, up from 13 the previous day. Lawrence County, with limited testing sites, remained steady at three. Madison County has 61, up from 43 Thursday evening. Lauderdale County had 11 confirmed in this evening's data, Cullman County had seven and Marshall had four.

Statewide, Alabama Department of Public Health data available this evening reported 639 cases of COVID-19, up from 524 Thursday evening.

ADPH reports three fatalities related to COVID-19, residents of Jackson, Lauderdale and Madison counties. State Health Officer Scott Harris today said eight other fatalities are being investigated to determine whether COVID-19 was the direct cause of death.

The highest number of confirmed cases continue to be in Jefferson County, with 179 positive coronavirus tests. Next up are Shelby with 70, Madison County with 61, and Lee with 53.

Call the testing site for additional information before visiting, o call the Alabama COVID-19 24/7 hotline at 1-888-264-2256 for testing sites and hours of operation near you.

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eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

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