State health officials: Their plans to ease concerns about coronavirus


This story is part of the CBS 42 special report Coronavirus: The Facts.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The state of Alabama is now surrounded by cases of coronavirus as Tennessee, Georgia and Florida have all confirmed cases.

Gov. Kay Ivey has created a coronavirus task force made up of state officials and disease specialists.

“Our goal is to be on top of this situation and give all the folks the guidance they need. I’ve started bumping instead of hugging,” said Gov. Ivey.

One of the members is House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Huntsville).

“I feel very confident that we’re not overlooking this issue,” Rep. McCutcheon said. “It’s important and it’s a very serious thing that we need to consider and the public health officials in Alabama got this at the top of the list.” 

The Alabama Department of Public Health says they have been monitoring Coronavirus since early January. ADPH has monitored around 100 people who traveled to China. Less than 10 showed symptoms and tested negative for the virus.

“These returnees check their temperature multiple times a day, we check in with them every day. Now most of those people that we’ve been monitoring, have finished their monitoring. They’ve completed 14 days of monitoring,” Dr. Scott Harris said.

The Alabama Hospital Association says hospitals around the state have a plan in place.

“We have developed processes to screen and isolate individuals who presented the hospitals meeting the CDC criteria for the for the virus,” Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said.

Williamson says treating infectious diseases is nothing new for hospitals around the state.

“These patients are isolated, they’re treated in appropriate spaces by trained personnel,” Dr. Williamson said.

But what could this outbreak mean for your money? That is a concern many state lawmakers are having.

“I look forward to the day that everyone gets a little more comfort level and we moves forward because it’s been devastating on the economy,” Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said.


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