UPDATED: Officials confirm first case of COVID-19 in Alabama

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. (Courtesy of NIAID-RML)This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. (Courtesy of NIAID-RML)

UPDATED: 12:05 p.m. MARCH 13, 2020 – adds additional information from the Alabama Department of Public Health press conference.

Scott YoungNews Editor

The Alabama Department of Public Health announced on Friday, March 13 that the first case of COVID-19 has been identified in Montgomery County, Alabama.

Governor Kay Ivey published a press release ahead of a press conference by the Alabama Department of Public Health confirming the case.

“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,” said Governor Kay Ivey in a press release. “Alabamians should not be fearful, but instead, use commonsense to watch out for themselves and others.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said that the patient infected was sampled Thursday night and the test returned back positive at 8 a.m. Further, he said that the patient travelled out-of-state and returned home feeling unwell.

“We continue to recommend that people be prudent and encourage them to use proper hygiene behaviors such as hand-washing, not touching their faces with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if they have a fever,” said Harris.

Harris explained that the patient met CDC guidelines for screening and that the person is in a high-risk category because of “chronic health conditions”.

The patient is currently self-isolated and not in public.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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