From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Dr. Scott Harris, the state health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), confirmed Thursday there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Harris said the department will immediately release information once a case is confirmed. He said he does believe there are likely unknown cases in the state.
“I expect that there are people that are infected that have not been picked up yet,” said Harris.
The ADPH said both state and commercial offices testing for the illness have not had any positive results.
About 50 tests have been run by ADPH with additional testing provided by private labs across the state. Harris said his department could handle about 150 tests per day and could refer additional testing to outside labs, if needed.
Originally, the only people tested were those who met the criteria for a high probability, but that was changed to anyone who the health practitioner recommends for testing. And the tests through ADPH are free.
Harris is also recommending the cancellation of all events involving more than 500 people. He said if a person is interested in being tested, call your health care professional before going to the health department or medical facility.
The Jefferson County Health Department made the same recommendation earlier Thursday. The ADPH is also recommending people keep a safe distance of 6 feet from others during events and while in public.
The department is not recommending the closure of schools or recommending employers to ask employees to stay home.
The ADPH has requested more tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When it comes to travel, Harris recommends avoiding high-risk areas and staying aware of coronavirus cases.