State health and school officials shared an update on the Novel Coronavirus detailing more plans as the virus spreads. The state of Alabama is one of a handful of states that don’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19.
As of our last update, under 20 people have been tested for COVID-19 across the state by the health department. Testing capacities appear to be growing but the state did confirm they have denied test requests from medical providers.
State health officials say that’s because not all patients are meeting test requirements. We were also told that test results are able to be quickly returned — with results coming the same day as the tests.
State School Superintendent Eric Mackey says all overseas travel has been canceled and schools should be reviewing their emergency plans. If a test comes back positive for a student, parent or teacher, the school or district will be shut down for up to 2 days before a long term plan is put in place.
Meanwhile, the state says medical providers are frequently inquiring about getting their patients tested.
“I can’t begin to tell you how many calls daily. A large majority of those calls are really requesting information. Providers are new to how we perform these tests and who is a candidate for the test. Most of the calls have just been explaining who is a candidate and who is not,” said Dr. Scott Harris with the Alabama Department of Health.
The state says more than 100 people have been monitored because of their travels. Those people reported their temperatures several times a day to the state.
The state school board is also asking that kids who are sick with any illness not return to school for 72-hours after a fever clears.
Alabama Department of Public Health State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey and Jennifer Ventress, the lead nurse for the Alabama Department of Education, all participated in the news conference.
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