MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama, but state agencies are preparing for the infection risk, state officials said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
In the briefing, Alabama state officials provided an update on the state’s preparedness for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), given the confirmed cases in the U.S., including in neighboring states.
The press conference was held at the Alabama Department of Public (ADPH) Health RSA Tower in Montgomery. ADPH officials, along with officials from the Department of Education, spoke on safety precautions and other preparations.
“We have tested a number of folks who have been referred to us…none have tested positive. We expect at some point, we will [have confirmed coronavirus cases],” said ADPH State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Brian Hastings, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, encouraged parents to practice and educate their children on hygiene practices.
“We can have the best plans and the best protective measures, but if you and the people around you are incapable of hygiene…disease containment is not going to work,” said Hastings. “It takes everyone…we’re in this together, so we need everyone’s help. And if we all do our part, we’re going to fare very well.”
State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey also took part in Tuesday’s discussion. He stressed the importance of calling health care providers first prior to visiting a doctor’s office. Dr. Mackey said schools with faculty, staff, or students who test positive for COVID-19 will be closed for 24 to 48 hours while ADPH officials assess the situation.
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