Pike County deemed ‘high risk’

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As more than 40 Troy University students have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) showed Pike County as one of only four counties deemed “very high risk” for community spread. 

“It’s based on the fact that we’ve had a consistent amount of cases each day for 14 days,” said Herb Reeves, Pike County EMA director and Troy dean of students.

According to the ADPH, the risk factor is determined by the number of days a county has a downward trend of cases each day.

“They’re not that high compared to a lot of other counties, but there’s consistency there.”

Reeves said “90 percent or more” of the cases listed by Troy University are not from Pike County. 

“If you’re an Alabama resident, it counts to whatever county is your home address,” Reeves said. 

So, if a student’s home address is listed in Birmingham, a positive test would be reflected in the numbers for Jefferson County. 

He said there may be some duplication when it comes to reporting of numbers, but he said that doesn’t concern him.

“I’d rather over report it than under report it.”

The north wing of Pace Hall is currently reserved to use for isolation, but Reeves said only one student has needed to use the dorm to isolate. 

“Most of the students (who have tested positive) have gone home,” Reeves said. “That’s an option and an encouragement.”

Reeves reiterated the importance of following proper safety protocol to reduce spread of the virus.

“We’ll be coming on Labor Day before long, and I’m sure students will travel,” he said. “The things we’ve got to consistently keep pushing is wearing a mask and social distancing and eliminating crowd gatherings.

“That’s the way we’re going to combat it.”

“I’m not scared of the virus myself, and I think most of the students here should be either because most us don’t belong to any risk group, but it makes me upset to see how many students disregard the mask and social distancing policies,” said Pedro Ferreira, a senior music industry major from Lisbon, Portugal. “It is not my goal to infect one of my professors and potentially put them in a life or death situation.

“It’s not about me, it’s about us.”

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