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DeKalb County, Alabama, officials announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 as the pandemic spreads across the region.

DeKalb County Commission president Ricky Harcrow said in a statement released by county spokesman Tyler Pruett that the individual was notified by the Alabama Department of Public Health and was ordered to quarantine for 14 days. Anyone who has been in contact with the person is being ordered to quarantine, too, Harcrow said in the statement.

"We knew that the coronavirus would eventually be confirmed in DeKalb County," Harcrow said, "and now that it has; we know it is likely that other cases will most likely be confirmed. We must remain calm and continue to practice good hygiene and handwashing".

Harcrow urged residents to stay home if they're sick and told well residents to stay away from those who are sick.

"It is imperative that all residents of DeKalb County continue to practice social distancing in order to limit the spread of this virus," the statement said. 

DeKalb County GIS manager Austin Reed said earlier this week that many officials were already anticipating a confirmed case since a confirmed case in neighboring Jackson County's small town of Bryant not far from Chattanooga was an area where traffic from Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia regularly crosses.

DeKalb County has a mobile medical station acquired in 2015 that can be deployed, if needed, according to officials.

Everyone should keep the directive from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to limit gathering with other people to groups less than 25 and keep six feet away from other people, Harcrow said.

Residents with questions can contact the DeKalb County EMA office at 256-845-8569.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

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