The governor held a press conference Tuesday morning to update residents on the stay-at-home order and what her administration is doing to get life in
"I'm getting a lot of advice on what we could do, should do or must do to get our economy going, but my staff and I are taking every suggestion seriously," she said, adding there's a task force working to see if some of the ideas can be implemented.
She said she hopes to receive recommendations later this week and have a plan of action ready for review by
"We want to get folks back to work as soon as we can, but we want to do it as smart as we can," Ivey said.
About 264,000 residents have applied for unemployment benefits in the state, more than double the applications filed a year ago. Ivey said she wants a plan that can serve as a roadmap to help
But don't expect that plan to go into effect in the next few days.
"We think the sort of peak demand for (intensive care unit) beds will be around the 20th," Harris said, referring to
For many, the disease causes mild symptoms or none at all, but for others, such as the elderly or those with chronic health problems, it can lead to more severe symptoms and even death. Nearly 500 have been hospitalized in the last month from the disease, and more than 100 deaths from COVID-19 complications have been reported in the state.
Preparing for the surge
Harris said right now,
He said the state health department is working to improve contact tracing, which is the process of identifying those who may have been exposed to an infected person. The
ADPH officials are also working with nursing homes to make sure they have the best information available for handling cases in their facilities.
"Nursing homes actually do a very good job of thinking about infections and outbreaks because they have a vulnerable population that is confined," Harris said. "... What we have brought to them are other ideas about how they can deal with actual cases."
Those ideas include isolating patients in a single wing or separate building with dedicated staff and equipment only for those who test positive, testing everyone -- even the asymptomatic -- to isolate as necessary and how to handle patients returning to the nursing home after a stay at the hospital.
Harris said they are also working on how to reach and improve care for African Americans. Across the country, black residents make up a disproportionate amount of the deaths or confirmed cases. In
Of the 16 patients who had no underlying health condition when they died, 10 were black.
"Black people in
Harris said they are working to improve communication with hospitals and health care providers in predominantly black communities, as well as to residents who may not understand how serious COVID-19 can be. He said "it has been a challenge to get the message right" but that there are signs of improvement across the state.
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