More than 90,000 cases of Coronavirus, COVID 19 have now been reported worldwide and the number keeps growing. By Monday afternoon, March 2, 2020 there were 100 confirmed cases in the US and six of those people had died.
As Baldwin County gets set for spring break and the more than 6 million tourists over the summer, the Alabama Department of Health said it currently has no concerns as there aren’t yet any cases in Alabama. The tourists come from all over and interact with countless others while on vacation. That’s what has some folks concerned.
“That is an easy way for it to spread. That would be my concern there,” said part-time Gulf Shores resident, Bill Gleespen.
“The variety of everything here…the variety of life and the types of people that come here,” added Tom Christle. “You get people from all walks of life here.”
The State Health Department said it’s prepared if the situation changes. Baldwin County EMA officials said they’ve been in contact with the state daily.
“What’s important with communication to Baldwin County is we need to know how to dial up a resource or get help or assistance in the event that we do have issues, or someone’s confirmed with Coronavirus in our county. We need to know what to do and when,” said Baldwin County EMA Director, Zachery Hood.
The majority of COVID 19 cases in the US are on the west coast and in the northeast but there are now two confirmed cases on Florida’s gulf coast. With so many annual visitors, if a case of Coronavirus were to surface here, it would be very difficult to track the exposure. Hood said his agency is prepared if that were to happen.
“There are other areas of the United States that have experienced this kind of growth. They’ve experienced this kind of tourism and we have modeled their planning and so, from the perspective of emergency management, that is something that gets our attention,” Hood said. “However, it is nothing that generates fear.”
Local health officials are communicating daily with the state about any changes and the State Health Department said it’s also communicating closely with the CDC and has plans in place in the event we begin to see cases in Alabama.
All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.
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