Montgomery must remain ‘smart and vigilant,’ state officials say

ADPH doctor speaks on pandemic response

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – State officials have reiterated that Montgomery residents need to remain vigilant after the city was identified as a potential COVID-19 hot spot.

“One reason for the higher numbers is that testing has been increasing in Montgomery and surrounding counties, but we still must must take this virus seriously and practice social distancing,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday.

Harris and Gov. Kay Ivey are urging Alabamians to not let their guard down, even as the state eased restrictions on Monday.

[READ MORE: Montgomery listed as ‘location to watch’ in unreleased White House report]

“Let me be abundantly clear: the threat of COVID-19 remains," Ivey said while Harris stressed the need for those who are especially vulnerable to stay home.

“It takes two or three weeks to know the effects of loosening public gathering restrictions, so we especially need our senior citizens and those with chronic health conditions to avoid gatherings, minimize trips out of the house, and stay away from others who are sick,” Harris said.

As of Friday, Baptist Health reported having 80 inpatients with COVID-19 in its three hospitals in Montgomery and Prattville. Forty-seven of those were at Baptist South Medical Center. Another 18 inpatients were waiting for test results.

[The latest coronavirus news]

In Montgomery County, 20 people have died from COVID-19, according to data from ADPH. There have been 765 confirmed cases and 5,063 tests given as of Friday afternoon.

Ivey pointed to the effects the pandemic has had on Alabamians’ health and finances, saying the state is “hurting” and she’s committed to helping every family “restore their livelihoods.”

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.