UAB doctor not expecting COVID numbers to improve anytime soon
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama health leaders believe the latest surge of COVID cases may slow but the crisis for hospitalizations are expected to continue for possibly another two months.
Alabama health leaders are worried about what they are seeing. They say more people have to get vaccinated and continue to wear masks, but they are not seeing that happening and with thousands of people at college football games, they don’t believe the numbers are going down anytime soon.
Alabama hospitals continue to see a large number of people being hospitalized with COVID. Hospitals are running out of space for ICU beds. “We are still seeing unacceptably high levels of hospitalizations and of those in the hospital they are extremely sick.” Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said.
Many hoped to see hospital numbers peak and drop after Labor Day. Numbers are down slightly but not a lot. “There were projections back in July when Delta hit we would peak around Labor Day and that has borne out. The projections after that was that the case numbers would go down. I don’t think we are going to see that for quite a while.” Dr. Michael Saag, UAB Infectious Diseases said.
Dr. Saag, a top infectious disease doctor at UAB said people have to change their behavior by getting vaccinated and wearing masks, but that is not happening. “We are going back to restaurants without masks. We are sending kids to school sometimes with masks and sometimes not.” Saag said.
About 100,000 people will be at Bryant Denny Stadium Saturday to watch Alabama football. Saag said he loves college football but seeing so many people in a stadium not wearing masks makes him cringe. “Packing people into stadiums not wearing masks is a recipe for spreading COVID. Period. I think everyone needs to make an individual decision about whether they attend these events.” Saag said.
Dr. Saag, who loves college football said his personal choice is to not to go. The infectious disease expert believes while many hoped to see a big drop in numbers, he doesn’t expect to see that until about Thanksgiving.
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