• 79°

First Pike County case confirmed; TU reports faculty, student cases

Pike County reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus on Wednesday, and Troy University confirmed that both a student and a faculty member have contracted the virus.

The Pike County patient has not been identified and no further information about his or her health status has been released, per Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines.

The student and faculty member have not been on campus for more than two weeks.

“ADPH will investigate and notify any individuals who may be at risk of exposure to the virus due to contact with the individual who tested positive,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves. “This individual is not currently in the workforce or a resident in a healthcare facility.

“The individual has been quarantined according to ADPH guidelines.”

The mayor said that case is not connected to the two cases reported among the faculty and students at Troy University, both of whom do not reside in Pike County.

Troy University officials learned Wednesday that a student and faculty member from Troy University’s Troy campus have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Officials notified students and staff via an email service shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to Herbert Reeves, Dean of Students, “Both individuals self-reported to the university and are currently in self-quarantine with no severe symptoms. We wish them both well on their roads to recovery.”

Herbert Reeves’ emails said neither the student or faculty member is a member of Troy or Pike County and the student did not live in on-campus housing.

“Neither individual has been on campus or in contact with students, faculty or staff since the start of Spring Break, which was March 9-13, however out of an abundance of caution we wanted to inform the campus community. We have been in contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health about both cases, and the ADPH will investigate and contact any individuals who may be at risk of exposure to the virus,” the statement said. “These are the only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving members of the University community at this time.”

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 386 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Mayor Jason Reeves urged the community to continue to be aware of social distancing and safety procedures recommended by health and public officials..

“We need to remain vigilant with social distancing and follow ADPH and CDC guidelines for hygiene and hand-washing. I will make daily posts following ADPH’s COVID-19 update and will remain in contact with ADPH, our local task force and health care providers to provide all information possible to our community,” he said.

Anyone with cough, fever, shortness of breath or other symptoms can call the Troy Regional Medical Center COVID-19 hotline to speak with medical professionals: 334-670-5409.

Most patients with COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness along with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some have more severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Health officials urge anyone experiencing symptoms to first notify their healthcare provider so that proper precautions can be taken. This will help protect others from exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses.

Social distancing is the most important recommendation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended that any gatherings that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons be postponed or canceled.

As with other respiratory illnesses, it is important that everyone continue to take steps to protect themselves and others by minimizing their risks. This includes practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick persons, staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Persons who are 65 years and older and those with health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and other conditions that can weaken the immune system should limit their interactions with others since they are most at risk.

ADPH is committed to sharing up-to-date information and will maintain patient privacy when announcing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama residents as follows:

• COVID-19 General Information – 800-270-7268

Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, and a language line is available for people who do not speak English.

• The COVID-19 General Information E-mail address –  covid19info@adph.state.al.us

In addition, a toll-free phone line provides information about available testing sites and hours of operation statewide at 888-264-2256.

More information is available by clicking “Coronavirus” on the home page of alabamapublichealth.gov/ and at the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

X