TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - In Tuscaloosa County, DCH Regional Medical Center currently has more than 100 patients being treated for COVID-19 and with the University of Alabama set to begin classes on August 19th that has some hospital leaders concerned.
DCH is expecting numbers to rise even more, when UA students return to campus in less than three weeks.
The good news is the University of Alabama is requiring all students to be tested for COVID-19 before coming back to school. They’re even taking that a step further by offering free testing and masks will be required in classrooms.
But with more than 33,000 students coming back into town, DCH officials said they’re getting ready to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. “We feel like we are prepared, but there are just so many variables. One of the big variables right now is our staffing. Our staff is just tired. They’ve been dealing with some very sick patients with COVID,” said Andy North. DCH VP of Marketing and Communications.
Another part of the UA ‘s plan, is the university will shift students to online learning just before Thanksgiving, so they don’t have to return to campus.