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UPDATE: 1st confirmed cases of coronavirus in Chilton County, state sees 1st death

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

The first confirmed case of coronavirus was listed for Chilton County.

The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed the case in Chilton County late in the evening March 25.

The state of Alabama now has 489 confirmed cases as of March 26, and Chilton County has now been listed as having four confirmed cases.

The news of the first confirmed case in Chilton County came on the same day as the first COVID-19-related death in Alabama, which occurred in Jackson County.

The Jackson County Commission said a part-time county employee passed away after contracting the virus.

The ADPH later released a statement confirming the death.

“The patient had underlying health problems and passed away in a facility outside the state of Alabama,” said the ADPH in the statement.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as to the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “The health of our residents and the community is our greatest priority, and we will continue working together to care for the patients, protect the safety of health care workers, and protect the people in our state.”

Gov. Kay Ivey also issued a statement in regards to the death.

“It is with profound sadness that I confirm that one of our citizens has passed away from the COVID-19 virus,” she said in a release. “I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones during these extraordinary circumstances. I continue to urge everyone that this virus is real, it is deadly, and we should continue to maintain social-distancing as much as possible. Together, we will overcome these challenges and difficult days.

“I appreciate the diligence of the Alabama Department of Public Health for throughly investigating this case, which unfortunately was indeed a coronavirus-related death.”

ADPH encourages the general public to follow the orders of the State Health Officer including limiting gatherings of 25 or more persons and maintaining social distancing of six feet or more among other recommendations. In addition, ADPH encourages everyone to take precautions including the following behaviors:

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Avoid contact with sick people.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.