Alabama local/state Coronavirus updates (March 13)

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People watch a TV screen showing a live broadcast of U.S. President Donald Trump's speech at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Trump announced he is cutting off travel from Europe to the U.S. and moving to ease the economic cost of a viral pandemic that is roiling global financial markets and disrupting the daily lives of Americans. The Korean letters read: "Trump national speech." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

This is our fourth in a series of collective Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from around the state. You can find the first here, second here and third here. Today’s is different because today, we have our first confirmed case of coronavirus in the state.

This update includes statements from Governor Kay Ivey, John Merrill Secretary of State. We will update this post throughout the day as more notices become available.’

For up to the minute and detailed information from the Alabama Department of Public Health please visit their resource center here.

For information from the Center for Disease Control that includes mitigation strategies visit their website here. Download full CDC Mitigation Strategy pdf here. Download CDC at home care guidance for those who have coronavirus but do not require hospitalization here.

As of 10:22 pm central (March 13) there are 6 confirmed cased of coronavirus in Alabama. However, the big caveat to this is also that there has been limited testing until today. 74 people have been approved for testing and 28 of those have been tested. 

Ivey held a press conference video below courtesy of Fox 10 News. 

Kay Ivey, Governor issued an expansive State of Emergency Proclamation 

Kay Ivey in response to first confirmed case:

Governor Kay Ivey on Friday, upon learning of Alabama’s first confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) case, released the following statement:

“Along with my fellow Alabamians, I have closely monitored the rapidly changing events regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a state, we have taken precautionary measures and made preparations in the case that the virus would eventually reach our state. As I have emphasized time and again, the safety and health of Alabamians is paramount.

“Alabamians are smart and savvy, and I know they will continue taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread to themselves or others. 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. Alabamians should not be fearful, but instead, use commonsense to watch out for themselves and others. We will remain engaged on the matter and continue prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all Alabamians.

“I am grateful to the work of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, as well as the members of my Coronavirus Task Force and countless individuals who are also watching and working on this situation closely.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris: “The Alabama Department of Public Health has worked hard to prepare and has anticipated receiving a report of the first case of COVID-19 in an Alabama resident. We continue to recommend that people be prudent and encourage them to use proper hygiene behaviors such as handwashing, not touching their faces with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they have fever. As a precaution, it is suggested that any gatherings of more than 500 people be postponed or canceled.”

Dr. Scott Harris and the Alabama Department of Public Health will host a webcast press conference to give further details this morning at 10:00 a.m.

John Merrill, Secretary of State on runoff election changes to absentee vote by mail options:

This morning, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Officer Dr. Scott Harris confirmed the first Coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the State of Alabama.

Secretary of State John H. Merrill is confident in the ability of the ADPH to monitor the potential spread of the virus and to treat the case(s) accordingly.

The Office of the Secretary of State has been in close communication with the local election officials in all 67 of Alabama’s counties to discuss Election Day preparation and encourage preventative measures to maintain the health and safety of voters.

As of today, the administration of the election will continue as planned.

Any person in our state is able to apply for an absentee ballot through contacting their local Absentee Election Manager. Absentee applications can be downloaded on our website AlabamaVotes.gov.

Voters who are concerned about contracting or spreading an illness or have an infirmity may vote by absentee. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, March 26, and the last day to postmark or return an absentee ballot by hand is Monday, March 30.

Voters must submit an accompanying copy of their valid photo identification. For the full list of valid forms of photo identification, please visit our website.

Upon successful application, voters will receive an absentee ballot in the mail.

Contact our office immediately should you have any questions or concerns at (334) 242-7223.