TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Positive COVID-19 cases and exposure is taking a toll on the City of Tuscaloosa.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox called the situation at DCH Regional Medical Center “Fragile, but manageable” during a COVID19 update held this morning at City Hall. He said that’s how hospital officials described the situation to him. He says his goal is to support them by educating the public on the impact coronavirus is having in the Tuscaloosa area.
“We are certainly in a different dynamic and it’s a precarious time for the city,” Maddox explained during an update broadcast on the city’s Facebook page.
Those words from Mayor Maddox Thursday foreshadowed some disappointing and current trends coronavirus is making locally.
“There may be some services that are delayed a day or two, such as trash or garbage or recycling,” Maddox added.
He said 26 police officers and 61 fire fighters were missing work Thursday due to testing positive or going into quarantine from a possible COVID exposure. He went on to say they’re working to make sure the city’s essential functions can continue.
“The spread that we’re seeing is community spread. We haven’t seen signs of institutional spread,” Maddox continued.
Tuscaloosa County has had 13,755 coronavirus cases and 173 deaths according the Alabama Department of Public Health. The number of COVID19 cases are trending up at Tuscaloosa City Schools. On December 1st, Tuscaloosa City Schools had 303 students in quarantine from testing positive or from a possible exposure. That jumped to 492 Wednesday. And rose to 538 by Thursday.
“The COVID fatigue that we’re all feeling , we have to do our best to dismiss it,” Mayor Maddox said in conclusion. He went on to say it’s too soon to see how the Iron Bowl and Thanksgiving holiday could affect COVID-19 cases in the city.
Maddox says the city of Tuscaloosa will do what it can to protect the local healthcare system. But individuals and groups have to do their parts to protect themselves and loved ones.