ADPH confirms first case of coronavirus in Alabama

Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 1:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health confirms the state’s first confirmed case of coronavirus Friday morning.

The City of Montgomery posted on Twitter the case is in Montgomery County. The tweet says that someone came in contact with the virus on a trip out of the state.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris would only say the patient is from Montgomery County and also suffered from chronic health problems.

For privacy reasons Dr. Harris will not release the sex or age of the patient.

Officials with the Department of Public Health is saying this could last 6-8 weeks, but it could be longer. They say it’s not a time to stock on food, it’s a time to be prudent and continue normal routine.

Gov. Kay Ivey released the following statement:

“Along with my fellow Alabamians, I have closely monitored the rapidly changing events regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a state, we have taken precautionary measures and made preparations in the case that the virus would eventually reach our state. As I have emphasized time and again, the safety and health of Alabamians is paramount.

“Alabamians are smart and savvy, and I know they will continue taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread to themselves or others. We have taken a calm and collected approach in preparation for this first confirmed case, and we need to remember that calm and steady wins the race. Alabamians should not be fearful, but instead, use commonsense to watch out for themselves and others. We will remain engaged on the matter and continue prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all Alabamians.

“I am grateful to the work of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, as well as the members of my Coronavirus Task Force and countless individuals who are also watching and working on this situation closely.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris released the following statement:

"The Alabama Department of Public Health has worked hard to prepare and has anticipated receiving a report of the first case of COVID-19 in an Alabama resident. We continue to recommend that people be prudent and encourage them to use proper hygiene behaviors such as handwashing, not touching their faces with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they have fever. As a precaution, it is suggested that any gatherings of more than 500 people be postponed or canceled.”

Dr. Harris said he believes Alabama prepared well for the coronavirus and he is re-emphasizing the recommendation to postpone public gatherings of 500 or more people for now.

AL Dept of Public Health says they’re fast-tracking the opening of screening centers across the state thanks to $5 million emergency appropriation from state legislature. They’re working to identify where those sites are.

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