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ADPH reports 1st Escambia County (Ala.) COVID-19 case

The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed late this afternoon Escambia County’s first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Escambia County patient hasn’t been identified, and no further information about his or her health status has been released, according to ADPH guidelines.

The Escambia County Healthcare Authority released the following statement a few minutes ago:

“Today, March 27th, the Escambia County Healthcare Authority announced that it had received notification from Alabama Department of Public Health of the first positive result for Covid-19 Coronavirus in Escambia County, Alabama. The Escambia County Healthcare Authority also announced that the patient’s sample was not collected at either of their hospitals in Escambia County, Alabama; Atmore Community Hospital or D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital.

Both of the Escambia County Healthcare Authority hospitals, Atmore Community Hospital and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, have worked diligently in anticipation of this event and they will continue to work diligently through the duration of this crisis.

We urge our communities to continue to follow the Center for Disease Control and Alabama Department of Public Health’s recommendations.

• Exercise social distancing; if you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals and avoid larger gatherings.
• Stay at home as much as possible, only leave for essential errands.
• Shield your coughs and sneezes.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and do it frequently.
• Use hand sanitizer when handwashing facilities are not available.
• If you are sick, STAY HOME, and contact your Healthcare Provider and let them know and follow their instructions.
• If you are severely ill, contact the ER before you present so that they can be prepared to receive you promptly.

The public can be assured that it is safe to seek care at both hospitals, Atmore Community Hospital and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital. We have the facilities and the expertise to care for those patients while protecting the safety of all of our patients, visitors and employees. Our staff participates in drills and training routinely to maintain a state of continual readiness, and our caregivers use personal protective equipment when caring for any patient suspected of having an infectious disease.”

ECHA Director of Public Affairs and Marketing Jason Daniel said that the authority doesn’t know where the patient lives, other than they are from the county, adding that the patient could’ve gone to any hospital or doctor’s office and gotten tested.

This is a developing story.