TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Paul Betz, the Chief Operating Officer of the DCH Health System, believes the recent decline in patients needing hospital care for coronavirus at DCH is the result of mask wearing ordinances having a positive effect.
“Well I think it’s beginning to help manage and control the spread of the virus which us resulting in downward trends in the number of patients we’re seeing admitted to the hospital,” Betz told listeners Thursday.
Betz made the comments during an COVID-19 update with Tuscaloosa City leaders and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
As of August 14, 77 people were being treated at DCH for coronavirus. On August 4, the hospital reported 106 patients were being treated for coronavirus. Tuscaloosa’s face covering ordinance has been in effect for more than a month. Governor Kay Ivey also called for a statewide mask ordinance soon after.
“I’m really proud of our medical staff and how they have kept up to date with the latest trends, standards with how to treat patients with COVID,” Betz continued.
Betz says 650 patients with the illness have been treated and released from DCH. He said there’s been a 92.2% recovery rate for people who have not needed hospital care. Betz admitted months of caring for COVID positive patients has been hard on hospital staff.
“COVID has been tough. It’s been tough on our staff physically and emotionally and continues to be a real marathon that we’re running. We’re doing everything to improve and help our staff remain resilient,” he explained. DCH is in the process of hiring more employees. There’s an ongoing virtual hiring event in partnership with West Alabama Works that ends Sunday.