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The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reports its first case of COVID-19 in a resident of Barbour County. As of the afternoon of April 3, 1,454 Alabama residents were confirmed positive for COVID-19.

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 www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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