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City of Huntsville declares state of emergency, meets with hospitals to discuss Coronavirus

Huntsville Hospital said it has 33 patients they are currently waiting for Coronavirus results.

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 8:29 PM

The Huntsville City Council and Mayor Tommy Battle held a special meeting in Huntsville on Monday.

The council voted to declare a local state of emergency which gives Mayor Battle power to make decisions quickly if he needs to do so. He explained this is necessary because the State of Emergency declared by the Governor does not apply to cities in the state. Mayor Battle said if need be he now has the ability to make decisions about personnel and resources here in Huntsville without having to get the city council's approval.

"This is not a normal time, but we can stay as close to normal as possible. As a city, we are going to stay open, I've talked to Paul, as a City Madison is going to stay open. Sanitation will be picking up garbage and yard waste, police will be patrolling, and we are running a public transit as normally as possible. City hall remains open," Battle said.

Battle said he currently sees no need to make decisions but felt it was necessary for the council to vote to give him the power to make decisions if he needs to. We asked the Mayor if he plans to shut down local businesses or restaurants because of the Coronavirus. He said the restaurants are self regulating right now.

Battle is encouraging people to place orders for to-go food to make sure they don't loose to much money, and if you do go anywhere make sure you are washing your hands and keeping distance from others.

Battle explained that right now the bus system is operating as usual, and the recreation centers are on reduced activities to try and limit group contact.

The Mayor also said the state of emergency does give him the power to enforce a city wide curfew, but he isn't planning on it right now.

"One of the things you could do we are not considering it at this time. We would not do without talking to counsel we did it, if it was deemed necessary the power to do it quickly," he said.

Battle said if a curfew is needed at some point, it would be similar to the one put in place after the 2011 tornadoes.

The Mayor explained there would be exceptions for healthcare workers to be able to go to and from work. The Mayor's office said they plan on providing updates to the community everyday about their plans with the Coronavirus.

At the news conference, held by city officials, Huntsville hospital CEO David Spillers was present.

Spillers, said they're waiting for Coronavirus test results for about 33 patients total throughout it's entire system. Spillers said it takes about 24 hours to get results from the state lab. At most, it can take up to 3 days. He explained they've started a courier service to drive tests results to the state lab in Montgomery.

Soon, they hope to be able to perform tests at the hospital. He said that could cut the processing time down to about 3 hours.

Right now, the hospital is still working to open a drive-up clinic to get people tested for Coronavirus. Spillers said they're working to make sure that only people who need to be tested are getting them.

"We need to stop the perception that everybody can have a test. If you're not sick, you don't need a test. My concern, and we've got to manage this with these drive up clinics, is that if we put a clinic out here everyone with hay fever or an allergy is going to want to ride up and get a test. If you do that the people that need tests will not be able to get tested," he said.

The hospital said right now some of the patients who were tested were sent home to self quarantine. Other patients are still at the hospital. Spillers said that's taking up enormous amount of resources, so they're working to get their results quickly.

Right now, the hospital said elective surgeries are still happening. Their team plans to discuss if they can keep them going at some point at this week, because they want to make sure they have enough supplies for any Coronavirus patients.

Crestwood Hospital was also at Monday's meeting. The hospital declined to say how many people they have tested, but it did say they are waiting for results for 5 patients right now

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99390

Reported Deaths: 1733
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13109243
Mobile9947207
Montgomery6835148
Madison537834
Tuscaloosa421373
Unassigned359961
Baldwin354425
Shelby328335
Marshall316736
Lee267845
Morgan239318
Etowah212131
DeKalb181913
Calhoun178414
Elmore172338
Walker152664
Houston139812
Russell13682
St. Clair133817
Limestone133313
Dallas132323
Franklin127420
Cullman122512
Colbert118113
Autauga116921
Lauderdale116719
Escambia108217
Talladega102614
Jackson9894
Tallapoosa85579
Chambers84138
Dale83424
Blount8004
Chilton7926
Butler76436
Coffee7616
Covington73520
Pike7097
Clarke6629
Barbour5755
Marion57424
Lowndes57224
Marengo55215
Hale47626
Bullock46411
Winston45311
Perry4424
Bibb4385
Wilcox42910
Monroe4214
Randolph40110
Pickens4009
Conecuh39310
Washington39112
Sumter36018
Lawrence3491
Macon33514
Crenshaw3185
Choctaw28312
Cherokee2737
Henry2633
Geneva2611
Clay2585
Greene25111
Lamar2222
Fayette2075
Cleburne1271
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 122712

Reported Deaths: 1223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23238304
Davidson20620213
Rutherford655354
Hamilton613253
Knox460039
Williamson355125
Sumner343373
Unassigned316110
Out of TN292414
Wilson229023
Bradley194312
Montgomery193913
Sevier18867
Putnam176718
Trousdale15836
Robertson155819
Hamblen139614
Blount130311
Maury12577
Washington12522
Tipton120810
Madison110217
Sullivan99414
Bedford92811
Hardeman91717
Macon86013
Lake7870
Loudon7423
Gibson7175
Bledsoe7051
Fayette6988
Dickson6912
Anderson6846
Dyer6508
Cheatham5957
Henderson5932
Jefferson5684
Obion5654
Lawrence5626
McMinn54720
Coffee5453
Rhea5362
Warren5304
Carter5226
Lauderdale5088
Haywood5006
Greene4928
Cocke4752
Roane4752
Hawkins4727
Hardin4718
Cumberland4576
Smith4524
Weakley4514
Monroe4449
Giles38113
McNairy3785
DeKalb3602
Franklin3304
Carroll3143
Lincoln3021
Marshall3013
White2935
Henry2880
Johnson2800
Claiborne2720
Crockett2695
Hickman2680
Campbell2481
Wayne2262
Marion2244
Chester2212
Decatur2133
Polk2063
Grainger1970
Overton1951
Unicoi1660
Union1600
Benton1551
Cannon1470
Jackson1271
Humphreys1243
Morgan1221
Scott1190
Grundy1142
Meigs1060
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