Mayor Battle: Next two weeks crucial to flattening COVID-19 virus spread

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating a Madison County death possibly associated with the coronavirus, Huntsville-area leaders announced during their daily community response briefing Thursday.

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EMA Director Jeff Birdwell said there are 466 confirmed cases in the state with 39 of those cases in Madison County. Jackson County announced the state's first death Wednesday.

Dr. Pam Hudson with Crestwood Medical Center said if you are sick enough to get tested, you should assume you are positive and self-isolate until you get your results. Hudson said there are four hospitalized patients in the community they have tested positive and 30 people that are under investigation in the hospital waiting for test results.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle stressed the importance of social distancing and said the next two weeks are pivotal to flattening the curve. During the briefing, he introduced a new hand signal people can use to encourage others to practice social distancing and said signs will go up in public parks this weekend.

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Huntsville police have seen a decrease in service calls and vehicle crashes, according to Chief Mark McMurray. McMurry said officers on duty are now equipped with personal protective equipment, thanks to supplies from Huntsville Fire. He said some officers have been tested at the John Hunt Park drive-through testing site and those results have come back negative.

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