MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – COVID-19 is at the forefront of discussion across the country right now.
Several COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state, and on Saturday morning Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon took some time to address concerns of members of the Tennessee Valley Republican Club.
His main message for people was not to panic.
“People need to be cautious to not allow fear to be the rule of the day. You know this is very serious, and we need to treat it as such,” said McCutcheon.
So serious, that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued a State of Emergency.
McCutcheon said the declaration is not meant to make people more afraid, but it will allow the state to get access to $5 million in funding to aid in the Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 procedures.
“In order for us to be able to utilize those dollars and to have the money come down, we need to be in a state of emergency to qualify,” said McCutcheon.
Ivey is also closing all public schools for two and a half weeks starting March 19.
McCutcheon said for many schools it is in correlation with their spring breaks.
He wants parents to know that state leaders felt this was the best way to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Try to keep it in perspective that it is short term and of course the government will respond in a way to be sympathetic to the people and to the children,” said McCutcheon.
And as for the economic impact, McCutcheon said people should know they are not forgotten.
“A lot of times decisions are made without respect to what kind of impact it is going to have on the small business community, and we are hearing from Washington down that the government is being mindful of that, and they are going to try to do everything they can to minimize the impact,” said McCutcheon.