State Senate approves $5 M to fight Coronavirus

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, March 12, 2020

On Thursday, The Alabama Senate approved a $5 million supplemental appropriation to combat the spread of COVID-19, a strain of the Coronavirus that has caused panic around the globe in recent weeks.

The approved funding is for health care professionals to use as they see fit to stop the spread of the virus in Alabama including helping set up local testing centers, covering telehealth expenses and testing and treatment for the uninsured.

While no cases of Coronavirus have been detected within the state’s boarders thus far, a meeting between healthcare industry professionals, public health officials and legislators concluded it important to be proactive and work to get the situation under control should anyone in Alabama test positive for the virus.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R – Anniston, and Senate majority leader Greg Reed, R – Jasper, emphasized the need to seek medical attention should symptoms arise.

“It is important for everybody to know that Alabama has a solid plan to combat Coronavirus,” said Marsh. “I cannot stress enough that if someone feels as though they need to be tested for Coronavirus they should contact their doctor to work through the next steps.”

“It is important to know that we have test kits and tests are being administered and we have excellent health care professionals who are prepared to act,” said Reed. “One important thing to note is that we are setting up the ability to contact doctors with telehealth so that next steps can be decided over the phone or video chat to limit the potential of exposure to this illness.”

“In response to the pandemic that has been going around the nation and the world, this supplementary spending bill is a way for the State of Alabama to be proactive and show our citizens that we are serious about fighting the spread of the coronavirus,” said Alabama Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro. “Although we have not had a positive test in the state, we understand that this highly contagious virus could be potentially deadly for those with compromised immune systems. Therefore, we are moving forward in setting up crisis centers to protect our citizens.”