State Health Officer: COVID-19 Hospitalizations are main concern right now

Dr. Harris on current COVID-19 status

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is setting a new one-day record for new coronavirus cases. State health officials are keeping are keeping a close eye on the evolving situation. State health officer Dr. Scott Harris says his main concern right now is hospitalizations in Alabama.

Every day this week, hospitalizations have remained steady at more than 1,000 patients with COVID-19 which is the highest counts since the pandemic began. Dr. Harris also says there are fewer ICU beds available.

“Even with 1,100 or 1,200 inpatients confirmed, this morning I think there were still 600 or more who are hospitalized who are persons under investigation. They’re suspected and just awaiting test results. So we could have hundreds of more who are inpatients that we’ve haven’t even identified yet,” Harris said.

Harris says no hospital in Alabama is turning people away. He says it can’t go on like this forever though. That’s why he and other medical experts are continuing to ask for more buy-in from the public when it comes to taking the situation seriously.

“None of these guidelines are rules and suggestions from public health are going to work if only a few of us are doing it. We need everyone to do it. Please take the politics out of this. This is a real illness and we all need to pull together and get Alabama through this,” Harris said. “

Medical experts say the true impact of the Fourth of July holiday will be seen over the next two weeks. They say during this time, it’s critical for people to change their behavior like wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

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