MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced the establishment of a state coronavirus task force Friday morning.
The task force, comprised of state agency officials and disease specialists, met for the first time Friday morning.
The governor’s office released the following statement Friday morning:
Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced the formation of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force of cabinet and state agency officials, as well as disease specialists in an abundance of caution. The task force held its initial discussion Friday morning.
“While there are no known cases in Alabama, I have gathered the experts in an effort to be as prepared as possible should the Coronavirus affect Alabama,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “The safety of Alabamians is paramount, and we will do everything we can to limit exposure to this illness. I appreciate the willingness of these individuals, from both the public and private sector, to serve as we do everything we can to mitigate risk for the people of Alabama and to keep the citizens of the state informed of our plans.”
The task force will discuss any developments and precautions on a routine basis and will make recommendations to the governor as necessary. Governor Ivey has designated Dr. Scott Harris to serve as chair of the task force and to lead any public announcements and directives.
The members are as follows:
- Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (Chair)
- Governor Kay Ivey
- Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth
- President Pro Tempore Del Marsh
- Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon
- Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed
- House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter
- Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton
- House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels
- Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, UAB School of Medicine
- Dr. John Vande Waa, Infectious Disease Specialist, University of South Alabama School of Medicine
- Dr. Don Williamson, President/ CEO, Alabama Hospital Association
- Brandon Farmer, President/ CEO, Alabama Nursing Home Association
- Dr. Eric Mackey, State Superintendent, Alabama State Department of Education
- Brian Hastings, Director, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
- Hal Taylor, Secretary, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
- Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce
- Commissioner Nancy Buckner, Alabama Department of Human Resources
The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued guidance to hospitals and healthcare centers regarding testing for the virus and encourages Alabamians to take the standard protocol for cold and flu season.
“The risk of Coronavirus disease remains low in Alabama, and we have been working diligently to prepare for any cases that may occur,” said Dr. Scott Harris. “I am very grateful to Governor Ivey for convening this distinguished group of state leaders to help guide us in coordinating our efforts to safeguard the health of all Alabamians.”