All Alabama public schools will be closed beginning close of business Wednesday, March 18 for two and a half weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, state officials announced Friday.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, along with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey held a joint press conference to make the announcement.
The state's first confirmed case was announced earlier in day.
The patient was identified as a civilian employee who works at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.
The base issued the following statement:
"A civilian employee who works at Maxwell-Gunter is being treated and evaluated following a confirmed result for COVID-19.
The person had returned home from traveling to Illinois and reported not feeling well upon return. Off-base medical agencies are monitoring and treating the individual.
“The civilian employee is the first confirmed case in the state of Alabama,” said Col. Patrick Carley, 42nd Air Base Wing commander. “The individual is being evaluated and treated by health care professionals. The continued safety of our community is of upmost importance. We are working with our base medical staff and other off base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in accordance with established CDC and DOD guidelines.”
The base remains in Health Protection Condition Alpha, or HPCON A. Protection measure guidance for HPCON A includes health alert; communicating risks and symptoms; reviewing plans; verifying preparation, training, stocks, posture, preparation, diagnose, isolate; and reporting new cases.
This is all the information that will be released at this time."
A second case has now been confirmed in the state. Officials say the person is a resident of Jefferson County.
According to Mackey, students will not have to make those days up.