HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —
A COVID-19 death has been confirmed in Madison County.
Leaders of the Huntsville area met to give the latest COVID-19 numbers in our area.
They say these next two weeks are crucial in stopping the spread.
Jeff Birdwell, Director of Huntsville- Madison County Emergency Management, says "We are aware of a death in Madison County associated with COVID-19."
The Huntsville- Madison County Emergency Management, says not much is known about the conditions of the death at this time.
Jeff Birdwell adds, “The Alabama Department of Public Health is currently reviewing this case to determine actual cause.”
Updates will be given as they come in. All the while, more tests are being given.
Dr. Pam Hudson, of Crestwood Medical Center says, “Yesterday, we increased the testing by another 600-- over 600-- cases.”
Dr. Hudson says there is some good news. She says, “The number of hospitalized patients who have tested positive in all our facilities in our community is: four.”
30 more hospital patients are under investigation awaiting results.
She says the increase in tests are thanks to increased availability. Noting, “Initially, we didn’t have the Fever and Flu Clinic or the John Hunt site.”
Dr. Hudson mentions health officials have noticed an increase in citizens wearing homemade masks. She says, “These masks are not useful for the prevention and protection of COVID-19”
Mayor Tommy Battle says these next 2 weeks are crucial in controlling the spread when it might normally spike. He says, “Next two weeks we have a chance to flatten the curve.”
He says locals can hold each other responsible by using this new hand signal to remind others about social distancing in public spaces.
We're told social distancing signs will be posted in public parks this weekend.
Mayor Tommy Battle says, “Going outside is probably one of the best things you can do. But, we’re still saying ‘keep your social distancing.”
Law enforcement says they’re also taking steps to protect themselves. We're told, Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, was a challenge initially, but they're seeing progress. Chief Mark McMurray, Huntsville Police Chief, says, “All officers now are equipped with the masks, the gloves… they have sanitizing equipment on board on each police car.”
And in all the uncertainty-- a bright side. With more people practicing self-quarantining, lives are being saved, in more ways than one.
Chief Mark McMurray says, “In fact, vehicle crashes are down eight percent."