By Scott Morris
UPDATED —An employee at the Jackson County Courthouse has died from the coronavirus, according to County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey, which could be Alabama’s first death from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guffey released a statement today, which said the employee worked in a department of the courthouse that did not require regular contact with the public. The courthouse will not reopen, however, until at least April 6, he added.
“From the day that the part-time employee last worked, the expected incubation period has now expired,” Guffey said. “All county employees who work in the same department have been notified and none of them have reported any symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus.”
Guffey said the county, located in the Tennessee Valley in northeast Alabama, will sanitize and check the area where the employee worked before allowing any employees to return to the courthouse.
“We will continue to monitor the situation to protect the health of all employees and the public,” he said.
Guffey did not identify the employee or say when the employee died
The Alabama Department of Public Health this evening confirmed the death. The victim had underlying health conditions and died out of state, according to the department’s news release.
The number of confirmed cases in Alabama jumped to 386 on March 25, according to the health department website. The department closes out the numbers each day at 4 p.m.
Jefferson County leads the state in the number of cases at 129. Other top counties were Shelby with 42 cases, Lee with 40, Madison with 35, Tuscaloosa with 15 and Montgomery with 13.
Jackson County had two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the health department.