Alabama bankers couldn’t access the federal Paycheck Protection Program application site on Monday so that small businesses hurt by the coronavirus could apply for the loans.
Alabama Bankers Association President Scott Latham said the U.S. Small Business Administration promised that its systems would be prepared for action on Monday, but they were not.
“Despite the agency’s efforts to be ready, it has failed,” Latham said in a press release.
Alabama reported 5,677 confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, with deaths increasing to 197.
Since the pandemic began, 768 people have been hospitalized with the disease in Alabama. Read more.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama climbed today to 1,265, the state Department of Public Health reported. The agency said it has confirmed 17 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic and is investigating the cause of death of another 15 people who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The total number of people diagnosed with the disease rose by 104 since Wednesay night, but the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 remained the same.
Jefferson County continued to have the most cases in the state with 327. But the state’s most populous county still had no confirmed deaths from the disease, though health officials were investigating the deaths of five people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Alabama’s death toll from COVID-19 rose this morning from six to 13, and the state Public Health Department reported it was looking into five more deaths of people who had been diagnosed with the disease.
The department said there have been three deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in Chambers County and two deaths each in Lee and Shelby counties. These counties reported one death each: Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery and Tallapoosa. Officials did not say where the other five deaths occurred. The department verifies the cause of death before adding a case to its official lisst.
As Dr. Don Williamson saw the coronavirus approach Alabama, he said he worried about three areas of potential shortages in the state.
First was the number of hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment that would be needed. Second was personal protection equipment for medical professionals to shield them, and then others, from the virus.
Third was the medical staff itself.
“I have real concerns about COVID-19 on health care workers,” Williamson, the executive director of the Alabama Hospital Association and former state public health officer, said. Read more.
Public health agencies in Alabama are offering websites to provide a wide range of information about COVID-19 cases, where they are occurring and how to get tested. The sites are updated twice daily as the number of cases increase. The Jefferson County Health Department’s coronavirus site offers information ranging from a breakdown of cases by ZIP code to tips on coping with the disease, sources of various types of information and listings of business closings.
The Birmingham City Council on Monday delayed voting on an item granting funding to the Five Points West/CrossPlex Business Alliance under the city’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development (BOLD) initiative.
The grant, proposed by Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office, would give the Five Points West/CrossPlex Business Alliance $26,500 to use for a variety of initiatives, including the creation of five new murals, the development of a training and resource program for the area’s business community, the establishment of a business office for the alliance, and the collection of data regarding businesses and commercial properties in the Five Points West commercial corridor.