Background on COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. COVID-19 was first detected in China and has spread to other countries, including the United States. As of March 2021, the United States has over 30 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and Alabama has over 515,000. 

Risk of exposure to COVID-19

The immediate risk of exposure for most Americans is growing. However, those at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 include health care workers, people who have been exposed through travel, and close contacts of those who have been confirmed to have COVID-19. COVID-19 primarily spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets by means of coughing or sneezing. Please practice social distancing, work from home, and stay indoors when possible to avoid spreading this virus.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, nausea, and shortness of breath similar to other respiratory infections like the common cold or the flu. Currently, the CDC believes that symptoms may appear anywhere between 2 – 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Most patients experience a mild illness.

If you are feeling ill, please contact your doctor for guidance.

As of March 20, 2020, the ADPH is recommending that anyone showing symptoms should first call their healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, please call 1-888-264-2256.

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, and there is no specific treatment for the virus. In most cases people with COVID-19 will recover on their own. However, the CDC recommends everyday preventative   actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases including COVID-19: 

  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home if you feel sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately dispose of the tissue in the trash
  • Cleaning and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, etc.) with regular household cleaning sprays or wipes
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol)
  • If you are not sick and have yet to receive the current flu vaccine, get the current flu vaccine 

The CDC does not recommend that people who feel healthy and well wear a facemask to protect themselves from COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others, or used by health workers and people who are taking care of an ill person in close settings such as at home or in a health care facility. 


Alabama State Resources

You can view up-to-date information on the disease, number of cases, deaths, and individuals under public health supervision in Alabama on the Alabama State Department of Health’s website.  

For general COVID-19 questions, call 1-800-270-7268 or email Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Also visit ADPH’s FAQ page. For seniors, information is available at (334) 242-5743 or 1-877-425-2243.

Small Business PPP Loan Resources

Community Lenders to assist your businesses when applying for a PPP loan.

  1. Hope Credit Union | 1-866-321-4637
  2. Alabama Small Business Development Center | 1-877-825-7232
  3. Birmingham Business Resource Center | 205-250-6380
  4. Bham Strong

Mental Health Resources

Crisis counseling is available Nationwide to all residents of the United States through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. Spanish speakers may call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or text Hablanos to 66746 from all 50 states.

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, use may use a preferred relay service to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or TTY 1-800-846-8517.

For additional information on the Disaster Distress Helpline, please visit SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.

Can my child still get school meals during closures?

State Superintendent Eric Mackey has said that students who receive free or reduced-cost lunches will still be provided meals through schools during the closure. Between now and when schools are reopened, click here to find a meal site near you

In addition to providing meals for children, our local food assistance providers will continue to operate, providing meals to those in need.

Avoiding Scams

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has created a page on its website for individuals to learn about and report coronavirus scams.