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Marshall County coronavirus cases spiking as testing availability increases

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 2:38 PM CDT
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The number of coronavirus cases across the state is rising, but Marshall County’s case count has soared.

On April 7, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 34 positive cases in the county.

On April 14, the number shot up to 103.

That’s a 203 percent rise. In that same period, the state experienced 89 percent growth in cases.

On April 11, Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers called the county “the hot spot in north Alabama."

He said for now, the case growth is not straining the hospital system.

Marshall Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Woodruff said some of the spike is due to increased testing availability.

"[There are] two new testing sites within Marshall County over the last week,” she said.

“We are testing more people and we are having more positive tests as a result of that.”

The county health department announced on April 13 it would be expanding its testing five days a week.

However, Woodruff said Marshall County could be doing better at following safety guidelines.

"When I drive to and from work everyday I see a lot of people out and about so it kind of concerns me,” she said.

Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar said the city government is following federal guidelines.

“We have closed all the playgrounds, the beach area, the city facilities, to try and limit the number of people," she said.

Woodruff said she expects Marshall County’s case load to rise as more people are tested.

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