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Coroner: Death rate up in Lowndes County

Lowndes County Coroner Terrell Means said he is seeing an increase in the death rate in the last three months.

“The death rate is turning pretty good,” he said. “The death rate has had a 45 percent increase in the last three months.”

Means said that’s making for a busy time to be the county’s coroner and it’s even busier than March through April 2020.

“We had a little bit less then,” he said.

Means said just this week so far five people have died from COVID-19.

“It’s pretty much people who have underlying health issues and are getting put on a ventilator,” he said. “We lost two or three people last week.”

Not all the deaths Means is seeing are due to COVID-19, he’s seen some natural deaths and two gunshot wounds recently.

On a normal pre-COVID-19 week, Means said he sometimes wouldn’t make a call for a week or two and on a busy week, he would have four calls a week.

Now, he’s making three calls a day, he said.

Lowndes County COVID-19 numbers on Wednesday were 1,186 cases, 37 deaths and 115 cases reported in the last two weeks.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Lowndes County for people who qualify for vaccine. These individuals currently are healthcare providers, residents of long-term care, people who are 75 years old and older, police officers and firefighters.
Clinics will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Lowndes County Health Department, 507 E. Tuskeena St., Hayneville. Please call the toll-free Vaccine Appointment Scheduling number at 1-855-566-5333 to make an appointment. Vaccinations are provided free of charge.

Means said that locals need to ensure they are taking the procedures seriously to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“FYI: It’s real,” he said. “Covid is real. People have to make sure they are doing all the proper procedures. Wash your hands correctly, wear your mask properly and social distance.”