Alabama receives CDC assistance in fight against COVID-19

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health requested support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been deployed to assist with the response to COVID-19.

The five-member team of CDC professionals will be assisting the department through Friday. ADPH requested the help of the team that includes an epidemiologist, a medical epidemiologist, an epidemiologist/data analyst, a risk communicator, and an informatics/visualization specialist.

“Certainly in Alabama, we want our numbers to go down and we have advised measures to reduce these numbers. We know if we don’t get these numbers down, our healthcare systems are going to continue to be strained and potentially overwhelmed,” assistant state health officer Dr. Karen Landers said.

The CDC deployment team will help staff with streamlining COVID-19 reporting, developing county-level indicators for use by local officials, recommending interventions based on the analysis, and assisting with development and review of outreach and communication messages to the public. For example, an analysis of pockets of greatest COVID-19 transmission can help in the design of public information and education campaigns for specific populations.

“We expect to provide some additional county-specific data that will really help in terms of addressing the problem at the local, county level,” Landers said.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the expertise of these public health professionals will further the staff’s abilities to assess our processes and will help guide us in our efforts to protect the public during this pandemic.

“We are grateful for the partnerships we have with CDC and other authorities at the local, state and federal levels,” Scott said.


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