As coronavirus begins to spread throughout the United States, state leaders are preparing for the virus to hit Alabama.

On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the formation of a COVID-19 task force composed of state and cabinet officials. Dr. Scott Harris will serve as the chair of the task force and lead any directives or public announcements.

“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,” Ivey said in a press release. “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 has already held on a discussion about preparation for the virus.

Here is a list of every member on the task force:

  • 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

Although cases of coronavirus have potentially been located in Georgia, Alabama has yet to confirm a case of the virus. Harris believes that the overall risk of the virus to Alabamians remains low, but he applauds Ivey’s preventative approach.

“The risk of Coronavirus disease remains low in Alabama, and we have been working diligently to prepare for any cases that may occur,” Harris said. “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.”

More information on state resources dealing with COVID-19 can be found here.

Categories: Alabama News, Archives, Local News