COVID-19: 2nd case confirmed in Escambia County, Ala.

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, April 2, 2020

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The Alabama Department of Public Health today announced the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Escambia County, Ala.

The second confirmed case comes six days after the first.

The ADPH didn’t release where the confirmed resident lives.

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When asked what the process is regarding reporting confirmed cases, ADPH’s Ryan Easterling said in an email that results are sent and then reported to the department of health via different routes.

“If a specimen goes to the ADPH lab for testing, when the tests are completed, the results will be sent to the person’s physician and to ADPH,” Easterling said. “If the test is done in the ADPH lab, the doctor or healthcare provider can look up test results on our lab electronic result site. If a test is positive, a health department COVID-19 Investigation Team member will call the physician to notify him/her of the results and ask that they notify the patient.

“If a test is positive, a COVID-19 Investigation Team member will call the patient with further instructions,” he added. “If a specimen goes to a commercial lab (private labs who run specimens for tests for COVID-19), the commercial lab will report test results to the persons doctor or healthcare provider. Commercial labs are required, by law, to report positive tests to the health department within four hours of getting the results. Confirmed cases, reported deaths and died from illness are reported in real time. Total tested and testing sites are updated once a day.”

The Escambia County Healthcare Authority (ECHA) announced just after 5 p.m. today that the ADPH notified them of the second confirmed case in the county.

“The (ECHA) also announced that the patient’s sample was not collected at either of their hospitals in Escambia County, Ala. – Atmore Community Hospital or D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital,” ECHA officials said in a release.

Additionally, ECHA officials also announced that it received notification of a positive result for COVID-19 from a patient specimen, which was collected at ACH. ECHA officials said that the patient with the positive COVID-19 result was not a resident of Escambia County, Ala., and the positive result would be reported by the ADPH in the patient’s home county.

ECHA officials said the first case was not collected at any area hospital, while the second case was. The second patient does not live in our county.

“Both of the Escambia County Healthcare Authority hospitals, Atmore Community Hospital and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, have worked diligently in anticipation of crisis and will continue to do so through the duration of this crisis,” ECHA officials sad. “Again, we urge our communities to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health’s recommendations.

“The public can be assured that it is safe to seek care at both hospitals,” officials said. “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.”

This is a developing story.