Does Alabama have COVID-19 hot spots?

Updated: May. 20, 2020 at 10:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Certain parts of the state were gaining attention as possible hot spots for COVID-19 as cases appear to spike and hospital ICU units ran out of beds.

State health officials say the apparent spike in cases is likely related to increased on-going testing and contact tracing.

As of Wednesday night, Mobile, Jefferson and Montgomery counties had the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

“As we expand our testing criteria, we’re going to see more positives,” State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said.

Dr. Landers said although those counties had the highest number of cases at the time this article was written, it did not mean people who lived in other places were in the clear.

“Persons don’t need to say my county is going down so I’m OK or my county is going up what am I going to do? But look at this statewide as we need to keep our guard up about this virus,” warned Landers.

Landers also explained the possible reason Montgomery County hospitals were nearly running out of ICU beds and sending severe COVID-19 patients to Birmingham.

She said with more elective surgeries happening that could be contributing to resources spreading thin. She also said hospitals have what is called a “surge” plan, in case they become overwhelmed, which maps out what area hospitals can take their overflow of cases.

“As you opened up more you were going to see more demand on your beds but with COVID-19 contributing to that obviously it is of concern,” Landers said.

With state hospital ICU units filling up, Landers warned it’s important the community continues to take this virus seriously and do your part by wearing a mask and social distancing to keep the virus from spreading and overwhelming the healthcare system.

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