JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed that a Jackson County resident who died is the state’s first death of a patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
ADPH says the patient had underlying health problems and passed away in a facility outside the state of Alabama.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as to the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak,” said state health officer Dr. Scott Harris. “The health of our residents and the community is our greatest priority, and we will continue working together to care for the patients, protect the safety of health care workers, and protect the people in our state.”
Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey broke the news Wednesday with a statement on social media. He said the patient was a part-time employee at the county courthouse.
The employee worked in a department of the courthouse that did not require regular contact with the public.
Guffey said all employees have been notified and the employee’s work area will be fully sanitized and checked. The courthouse will not reopen until at least April 6.
Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement at the time of ADPH’s confirmation:
"It is with profound sadness that I confirm that one of our citizens has passed away from the COVID-19 virus. I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones during these extraordinary circumstances. I continue to urge everyone that this virus is real, it is deadly, and we should continue to maintain social-distancing as much as possible. Together, we will overcome these challenges and difficult days. I appreciate the diligence of the Alabama Department of Public Health for thoroughly investigating this case, which unfortunately was indeed a Coronavirus-related death.”
Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The public can to keep informed by visiting alabamapublichealth.gov. An ADPH toll-free general information hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English.
The COVID-19 general information email address is email@example.com.
In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation statewide at 888-264-2256.