ADPH initiates monitoring activities for travelers from mainland China for 2019-nCoV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Media: Burnestine Taylor, M.D.
(334) 206-5100

CONTACT: Monitoring
(800) 338-8374

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) asks that people who have traveled to mainland China (this does not include Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan) and returned to the United States on or after January 22, 2020, to contact the Infectious Diseases and Outbreaks Division (ID&O) at 1-800-338-8374 as soon as they arrive in Alabama.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set interim exposure risk categories and movement restrictions for individuals who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html). ADPH will use these categories to determine requirements for returning travelers until 14 days after leaving mainland China.

Dr. Burnestine Taylor, medical officer, Disease Control and Prevention, ADPH, stated, “Risk depends on exposure, so those exposed to ill persons are at greater risk of infection. However, the situation is evolving, and risk will depend on how efficiently the virus spreads, and how sick it makes people. Exposure includes, but is not limited to, travel to mainland China or close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. At this time, no cases have been identified in Alabama.”

High Risk

(Stay at home. No public activities. Daily active monitoring by ID&O staff for 14 days after last exposure.)

  • Travel from Hubei Province, China. 
  • Living in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a nonhealthcare setting (such as a home) for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection without using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation. 
  • The same risk assessment applies for the above-listed exposures to a person diagnosed clinically with 2019-nCoV infection outside of the United States who did not have laboratory testing.

Medium Risk

(Remain home. Avoid congregate settings including but not limited to classrooms, shared offices, churches, public transportation, and remain out of public places where close contact with others may occur. Daily active monitoring by ID&O for 14 days after last exposure.)

  • Travel from mainland China outside Hubei Province 
  • Living in the same household as, an intimate partner of, or caring for a person in a nonhealthcare setting (such as a home) to a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection while consistently using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation. 
  • Close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection, and not having any exposures that meet a high-risk definition. 
  • The same risk assessment applies for close contact with a person diagnosed clinically with 2019-nCoV infection outside of the United States who did not have laboratory testing. 
  • On an aircraft, being seated within 6 feet of a traveler with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection; this distance correlates approximately with 2 seats in each direction. 
  • AND not having any exposures that meet a high-risk definition

Low Risk

(No restrictions unless symptoms develop at which time they should contact ID&O immediately. Self-Observation – report development of symptoms to ID&O immediately.)

  • Being in the same indoor environment (a classroom, a hospital waiting room) as a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection for a prolonged period of time but not meeting the definition of close contact. 
  • On an aircraft, being seated within two rows of a traveler with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection but not within 6 feet AND not having any exposures that meet a medium- or a high-risk definition.

If you are healthcare provider who suspects that your patient may have 2019-nCoV, please visit alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/healthcare.html for steps that should be taken.

Current concerns focus on 2019-nCoV, but human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different coronaviruses, that scientists know of, can infect and sicken people. Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. There has been some confusion as to whether a positive coronavirus test result is the virus associated with this outbreak. At this time, if a person has a positive coronavirus test result not performed by the CDC, it is not the novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV and should not be reported to ADPH. CDC is working with state public health laboratories to expand testing capacity. ADPH will report when testing is available within Alabama for 2019-nCoV.

For more information, please visit the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak page at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information specific to Alabama, please visit our website at alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19.


County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

- 30 -

02/04/2020


ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street, Suite 910, Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 206-5300 | Fax: (334) 206-5520