DCH and Tuscaloosa city leaders provide updates on coronavirus in the area

Tuscaloosa Chamber virtual meeting on COVID-19

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - During a virtual meeting hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, a spokesman for DCH Regional Medical Center and officials with the city of Tuscaloosa offered an update on how both are handling ongoing problems dealing with coronavirus.

One hundred patients are now at DCH who are positive for COVID-19. Twenty-eight of them are in Intensive Care. The hospital has 72 normal ICU beds.

Andy North, VP of Marketing and Communications, explained how it created space for a patients by turning an auditorium into an observation room with 12 beds.

“Patients who we’re not sure yet of the diagnosis, not sure if they’re going to need acute in-patient care, or if they can be discharged into another facility, so the physician would like to watch them for 24 to 48 hours and see if their condition improves or gets worse,” North explained.

That allowed DCH to free up other hospital beds. Tuscaloosa city officials said many city employees use schools for childcare. They’re paying close attention to what’s happening with area schools regarding virtual learning outside of the classroom because they know some city employees may be want to be away from work to spend more time helping to teach their children at home.

“Trying to gauge the number of our city staff that will be affected. How much of their schedule will be impacted and where are they located in the city. Some of them can flex their schedule to do whatever they need to do to be at home to help their children. Virtual learning does not impact the level of service the city is able to provide,’ according to Scott Holmes in the City Attorney’s Office.

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