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UAB hospitalization numbers remain steady, but not trending downwards

(WBRC)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Officials with UAB said their COVID-19 hospitalizations haven’t gone up significantly over the last few weeks. They are remaining steady. They said the steady numbers are good news, but they don’t want them to stay at this rate.

“We have been fairly steady the last couple weeks,” UAB’s Dr. Sarah Nafziger said. “That’s the good news.”

Nafziger said COVID-19 hospitalizations haven’t been climbing like predicted, but that doesn’t mean hospital conditions are improving.

“The hospital continues to be under a tremendous strain,” Nafziger said. “Our numbers have not continued to increase, but they have stayed fairly steady at a pretty high level. That puts a significant strain on our hospital’s resources.”

Nafziger said hospitalization numbers don’t seem to be getting worse, but they aren’t getting better. The number isn’t trending down and with a holiday weekend coming up, Nafziger is worried.

“After previous holiday bumps, we have seen spikes in cases,” she said. “I would like for that to not be the case after Labor Day.”

UAB epidemiologist Dr. Suzanne Judd said the steady hospitalization numbers still concern her.

“I don’t think the slight stabilization in hospitalizations we have seen in the last two weeks are likely to keep going as September progresses if we don’t have some behavior changes like the masking and social distancing,” Judd said.

Dr. Judd and Dr. Nafziger said the Labor Day holiday will play a crucial role in getting hospitalizations to start going down. They are asking everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear a mask if you gather for the holiday.

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