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Health leaders say COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained stable this past week

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State health leaders said Covid hospitalizations remained steady, but steady at very high numbers.

“We are really concentrating on trying to improve our ICU capacity,” State health officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

2,620 Covid positive patients are hospitalized across the state as of September 10th, 2021. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said this is the first-time numbers have been under 2,700 in weeks.

“The numbers aren’t great,” Harris said. “But, the numbers at least have not continued to go up.”

Harris said no increase is good, but since the numbers are still high, hospitals continue to struggle with ICU capacity.

“We continue to have a real crisis in Alabama with our ICU bed capacity,” Harris said. “I spoke with a hospital administrator yesterday who said they had critically ill patients on the floor and they were having to triage who they could move to their own ICU.”

Harris said the state is still in the negatives with ICU beds. Right now, 47 people are getting critical care elsewhere.

“They are being cared for in an emergency department or a ward bed converted to an ICU room,” Harris said. “Or, on a gurney in the hallway. Somewhere other than an ICU bed, because we just don’t have enough space to take care of them.”

Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department said even if Covid hospitalizations continue to plateau at this rate, it will still be a while before hospitals experience any relief.

“The longer a person is in an intensive care unit, the longer it takes for them to rehabilitate before they can go home from the hospital,” Landers said.

Out of the statewide hospitalization numbers, 47 are children.

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