COVID-19 could change what 911 dispatchers ask you when you call

As of Thursday afternoon there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Alabama.

Posted: Mar 12, 2020 5:41 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2020 9:50 PM

WAAY31 learned COVID-19 could change what dispatchers ask you if you call 911. Officials told WAAY31 it wouldn't be the first time, it happened during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

"During swine flu we had a directive from ADPH to change our modified caller inquiry," said Colbert EMA Director, Michael David Smith.

Smith said during the 2009 swine flu epidemic, dispatchers asked extra questions, like "Have you been around someone with swine flu?"

"If they met a certain criteria that caused us to believe they were infected then we would make sure the responders were aware of that and make a notification to the local health department," said Smith.

Smith said they haven't changed dispatchers' questions yet.

"As of right now with the Coronavirus we have not been given any modified caller inquiry's from ADPH at this time," said Smith.

Smith said if his department gets the orders from the department of public health to change dispatchers' questions he'll let us know.

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