Gov. Kay Ivey has established a Coronavirus Resource Site with links to a wide range of state government resources for individuals, families, and businesses.
Emulating a model used by Samford University faculty and students, the Alabama Department of Public Health is now updating its own dashboard displaying confirmed Coronavirus cases across the state. A second tab at the bottom of the map switches the view to Coronavirus test sites around the state.
A note of caution. The true extent of the virus is unknown. The number of confirmed cases does not equate to the prevalence of the virus in a county. Testing has been slow to deploy and demand high. In some cases, long lines form at announced test sites, overwhelming their ability to take samples. Results are not delivered for 24 to 72 hours, though that time lag is beginning to improve.
Orders For the Protection of Public Health
Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is posting news updates on its Coronavirus webpage. ADPH is posting its news conferences on the virus. The latest statewide health orders can be found on this ADPH page.
Statewide health orders are changing on a nearly daily basis with adjustments and clarifications. Local health orders, in Jefferson County for instance, are more restrictive than state orders. Check your local county health department’s website for information.
Some news sources have set up pages dedicated to Coronavirus coverage. For the latest news:
- AL.com (Covers Birmingham. Mobile, Huntsville)
- Anniston Star
- Birmingham Watch
- Dothan Eagle
- Tuscaloosa News
Law firms around the state have established websites with descriptions of new laws and legal situations arising from the Coronavirus outbreak. Some examples include:
- Balch & Bingham
- Maynard Cooper
- Hand Arendall
- Lanier Ford
- Baker Donelson
- Butler Snow
- Burr & Forman
The Alabama Department of Labor is accepting applications for unemployment benefits for workers laid off due to business closures. This document provides guidance on who is eligible.
The State is asking employers to file on employees’ behalf for COVID-19 related layoffs. Such filings will not affect the rate businesses pay on unemployment insurance for employees, thanks to a waiver announced by Gov. Kay Ivey.
If You Feel You Need Testing for the Virus
Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to first call their primary care doctor for consultation and stay isolated until testing can be arranged.
For those without a regular provider, call 1-888-264-2256 to find out about testing in your area. AL.com has a statewide list of testing sites and plans to update it.
On Thursday, March 26, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that K-12 schools statewide will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Schools will begin online instruction April 6.
No testing for schools
Alabama Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey announced Friday, March 20, that Alabama would not be requiring schools to administer standardized testing this school year if and when students return. Currently, schools are closed until at least April 6.
Mackey was reacting to a Trump administration announcement that states could apply for waivers from federal mandates in light of the Coronavirus outbreak. Standardized testing forms the core of state and federal education performance measurement and accountability measures. However, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss announced earlier in the day that the federal government would grant waivers to applying states so that schools could focus on preserving public health and plans for continuing student learning.
Mackey has appointed a task force that will be advising him and districts statewide on options available for Alabama student’s needs through the end of school-year and through summer. Mackey said they are prioritizing ways to keep high school seniors on a path to graduation and college or career.
The Department is compiling its Coronavirus related communications on its website.
Researchers tracking the outbreak at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering created a dashboard that tracks confirmed cases worldwide.
The New York Times is graphing the trajectory of the disease in various countries and U.S. states.