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Housing Authority of Birmingham holds Facebook Live to answer covid-19 questions

Published: Apr. 4, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Housing Authority of Birmingham District held a Facebook live event, partnered with UAB, to answer questions about the coronavirus and its effect on the African American population. The panel included the dean of UAB’s School of Medicine, area pastors, and the interim CEO of the housing authority. They held the event to bring families the most up-to-date information possible.

Dean of UAB’s School of Medicine, Dr. Selwyn Vickers, touched on the importance of keeping distance and covering your mouth and talked about a situation out of Seattle involving a church choir.

“And they were still having church. And in this scenario, a choir of 60 people got together and they sang. But before singing they wash their hands, they used sanitizer, they kept some distance from themselves, but all 60 choir members got infected. And two died. And it just highlights the power of when you were speaking a lot, or when you’re singing you can infect people pretty quickly," says Dr. Vickers.

Like many other illnesses, early symptoms of COVID-19 include high fever of over 100, and exhaustion. But what makes covid-19 different?

“Over some short period of time of hours, usually overnight, you’ll begin a cough. And that’s the earliest respiratory symptom because you have an irritation in your airway," says Dr. Vickers.

Of UAB’s 60 COVID-19 patients, nearly half are on respirators. He says UAB does have enough ventilators right now and is working with a company to produce more just in case.

The Housing Authority Of Birmingham District is partnering with agencies to get updated information to their residents, using social media, their website and text alerts. For those text alerts, residents can text “HABDCOVID” to the number 797979. But what about those without smartphones or internet?

“Our management offices are still open from 8-12. If residents request information, they can reach out to the staff during those times. We also have drop boxes that are outside of our management offices," says HABD interim CEO Dontrelle Young-Foster.

Stressing that everyone should obey the order to stay home, pastor Dr. Thomas Beavers sees this as an opportunity to strengthen the family unit.

“I don’t want things to go back to normal, I want things to move forward to a new normal. Sometimes God allows things to take place in order to have divine disruption. And I believe that God wants to move forward to a new normal and this is our opportunity for all of us to create that and see what that looks like for everybody," says Dr. Beavers.

Residents with more questions can visit the housing authority’s website at HABD.org. Watch the Facebook live event in full on the HABD Facebook Page.

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