5-member CDC team now assisting ADPH in fighting COVID-19

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recently welcomed a support team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which was deployed to assist with response to COVID-19.

ADPH has conducted testing, case investigation and contact tracing since the beginning of the pandemic. As the state is experiencing widespread community transmission, ADPH has worked to expand COVID-19 testing capabilities with drive-in sites throughout the state.

The five-member team of CDC professionals will be assisting the department through July 3. ADPH requested the help of the team, which includes an epidemiologist, a medical epidemiologist, an epidemiologist/data analyst, a risk communicator and an informatics/visualization specialist.

The CDC deployment team will help staff with streamlining COVID-19 reporting, developing county-level indicators for use by local officials, recommending interventions based on the analysis and assisting with development and review of outreach and communication messages to the public. For example, an analysis of pockets of greatest COVID-19 transmission can help in the design of public information and education campaigns for specific populations.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “The expertise of these public health professionals will further our staff’s abilities to assess our processes and will help guide us in our efforts to protect the public during this pandemic. We are grateful for the partnerships we have with CDC and other authorities at the local, state and federal levels.”

To slow the spread of the virus, ADPH continues to recommend the public practice social distancing, respiratory hygiene (e.g., cover coughs and sneezes) hand washing/hand sanitizing and the use of face coverings to prevent further transmission of the virus.

More information is available at alabamapublichealth.gov and at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick.