Wednesday afternoon, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Blount County. A few hours later, the department updated that figure to two. In its morning update, ADPH reported that there are 466 confirmed cases in the state. They confirmed the state’s first death from Covid-19.
Don Roybal, Blount County EMA Director, said, “We do know from the department of public health that there are two confirmed cases in Blount County, but because of federal privacy laws we are not given any personal information so we do not know the locations of the individuals. I understand that people are concerned and want to know more, but all the state department can do is tell us that an individual has tested positve.”
He stressed that it is important for everyone to follow the safety guidelines that have been issued by federal and state agencies and to follow the recommendations and orders issued by the state as well as local officials. “Everyone has to do what state and local leaders have been asking them to do,” he said.
Your local sources for accurate information on Covid-19 are Blount County EMA, Blount County 911, and the Blount County Commission as well as the municipalities. Local officials have two scheduled conference calls per week with the state EMA office and one scheduled per week with ADPH. They get regular updates from those agencies as well.
The City of Oneonta is working on a series of public service announcements that will be available soon. This will be another good, reliable source of information.
Information regarding health, safety, and state emergency orders can be found on the ADPH website at www.alabamapublichealth.gov. For accurate national updates and additional information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.org.
Everyone is encouraged to stay home as much as possible to help stop the spread. Officials encourage everyone to limit activities outside of the home for work, going to stores to get food and other necessities, and going to pharmacies for needed medication.
Beyond social distancing, the public is also urged to practice other precautionary measures, including:
• Stay at home when sick.
• Stay away from people who are sick.
• Wash hands with soap and water.
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if hand washing is not possible.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
County and municipal offices remain operational. Officials are available to answer questions and address concerns via phone or email. But all offices remain closed to the public.
The Blount Countian will continue to provide updates on Covid-19 as new information is released with full coverage in the paper each week. ADPH is currently updating case numbers twice a day. All updates pertaining to Covid-19 are public.