SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Huntsville Health Officials give update to recommendations from national task force

The Madison County EMA Director told WAAY 31's Sophia Borrelli they received three recommendations from the national task force less than 24 hours ago, now they’re trying to figure out how to implement them.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 7:59 PM

Wednesday WAAY 31 asked what Madison County learned after a national task force tracking coronavirus visited because of a spike in cases in Huntsville. The Madison County EMA Director told WAAY 31's Sophia Borrelli they received three recommendations from the national task force less than 24 hours ago, now they’re trying to figure out how to implement them. Madison County Emergency Management Director Jeff Birdwell said the COVID-19 response assistance field team or CRAFT wants its data analysis experts to look at coronavirus statistics in the county. "We know the things that we are tracking locally now. The first step associated with that is actually to meet with those folks that have expertise in that area and we talked about asking questions, what can you provide," said Jeff Birdwell, Madison County EMA Director.

Those numbers are already provided to the federal government. Birdwell couldn’t explain exactly what data analysts want to study. The second recommendation was about getting the correct messaging to the public, but again, no specifics were given. "What particular groups do we see that we need to improve in getting the message as far as COVID-19 precautions out to," said Jeff Birdwell, Madison County EMA Director.

Finally, the task force talked about what the start of the school year looks like. One day after the recommendations, Huntsville, Madison city and Madison County schools all announced virtual learning for the first nine weeks of school. "Bringing in the kids in a certain way and conducting traffic at least as far as the schools are concerned in a more socially distanced way," said Jeff Birdwell, Madison County EMA Director.
After the announcement from all three school districts in Madison County, health professionals and local leaders weighed in on the decision. Health officials said it's our responsibility as a community to stop the spread of the virus so educators don't have to worry about our children's education and the virus at the same time.
"Our responsibility as a community is to knock down the spike and get us to where we have this under control so that our school officials don't have the distraction of trying to deal with what's happening in the community," said Pam Hudson, CEO of Crestwood Medical Center. Crestwood Medical Center CEO Pam Hudson said while the school districts did not ask her opinion about sending children back to school, she thinks starting a school year during a spike in coronavirus cases is tricky.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the districts talked with state’s department of public health about the decision. "This is a tough one. Gosh, everybody wants school to go back. We want to go back to normal. We want to be normal, but unfortunately we are not in normal times so, we're having to adapt, we're having to evolve. We're evolving our schools to where we can actually do education, but we're going to have to do it from the homes for a little while," said Tommy Battle, Huntsville Mayor. Battle said as much as he would like to move forward and have our children in school, this school year cannot start that way. "We're evolving our education so that we can do education online, but we're adapting to the current conditions that are out there because the first time that we drop everyone off and we put the back in school and then we a spike and then we have a cluster spike in a school, we're going to lose the confidence of the public on how we can safely educate our children," said Tommy Battle, Huntsville Mayor.
Birdwell said right now they are coordinating with the state and task force to see what the next steps are as to how they can implement those recommendations.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Fayetteville
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Scottsboro
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13682262
Mobile10836223
Montgomery7009153
Madison558135
Tuscaloosa437880
Unassigned411368
Baldwin379129
Shelby341437
Marshall321438
Lee273547
Morgan245720
Etowah221934
DeKalb187014
Calhoun186719
Elmore178939
Walker158466
Houston149313
Limestone140713
Russell13982
St. Clair138820
Dallas134925
Franklin131522
Cullman125212
Colbert124318
Lauderdale121920
Autauga119622
Talladega110314
Escambia109917
Jackson10914
Tallapoosa88379
Dale86329
Chambers85238
Blount8485
Chilton8439
Clarke83010
Coffee7926
Butler77936
Covington76321
Pike7187
Marion59426
Barbour5906
Marengo57817
Lowndes57624
Bullock49411
Hale49026
Bibb4655
Washington46113
Winston45911
Perry4524
Wilcox44510
Monroe4276
Pickens42010
Randolph40511
Conecuh39810
Sumter37119
Lawrence3643
Macon34415
Crenshaw3398
Cherokee2938
Choctaw29212
Clay2785
Geneva2742
Henry2733
Greene25611
Lamar2372
Fayette2345
Cleburne1311
Coosa1063
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 130458

Reported Deaths: 1326
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby24251321
Davidson21528221
Rutherford693857
Hamilton660558
Knox505141
Williamson374125
Sumner358174
Unassigned31223
Out of TN299320
Wilson243423
Bradley210215
Montgomery208515
Sevier19899
Putnam193220
Robertson161621
Trousdale15836
Hamblen147615
Blount141415
Washington13912
Maury13679
Madison128223
Tipton124712
Sullivan113616
Hardeman102718
Bedford96211
Macon87413
Lake8000
Loudon7883
Gibson7879
Dickson7574
Fayette7448
Anderson7437
Bledsoe7342
Dyer7159
Henderson6612
Jefferson6394
Obion6394
Cheatham6249
Lawrence6197
Carter6026
Coffee5943
McMinn59120
Warren5874
Haywood5817
Rhea5742
Greene5619
Weakley5575
Lauderdale5529
Hawkins53410
Cumberland5307
Cocke5255
Roane5162
Hardin4998
Monroe47910
Smith4764
McNairy4106
Giles40213
DeKalb3842
Carroll3796
Franklin3634
Marshall3364
Lincoln3351
White3275
Johnson3190
Henry3161
Claiborne3010
Crockett2946
Hickman2921
Campbell2641
Chester2512
Overton2501
Marion2405
Polk2375
Decatur2343
Wayne2322
Grainger2171
Unicoi1800
Benton1791
Union1700
Cannon1600
Jackson1451
Humphreys1353
Morgan1351
Scott1342
Grundy1262
Sequatchie1171
Meigs1150
Fentress1060
Clay860
Perry860
Hancock842
Lewis811
Stewart810
Moore740
Houston630
Van Buren430
Pickett401

Community Events