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Health Leaders say Labor Day did not spike cases and hospitalizations

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to trickle downwards, health officials said a surge from the Labor Day holiday was avoided.

“I think we can be grateful that Labor Day does not appear to be as bad as it could have been,” President of the Alabama Hospital Association, Dr. Don Williamson, said. “We are not seeing the kind of spike that we saw after the Fourth of July last year or certainly after Thanksgiving or Christmas. If Labor Day contributed to transmission, it probably just contributed enough to keep the case count high, but it didn’t add another thousand or two thousand a day to cases.”

Williamson said there are likely three reasons the holiday did not cause hospitalizations to go up rapidly.

“One clearly is monoclonals,” he said. “I think there is no question monoclonals have kept people out of hospital who otherwise would have absolutely have ended up in hospital.”

He said the second reason is deaths increasing.

“We are seeing now for 25 consecutive days more than 40 deaths a day,” Williamson said. “We are going to have well over one thousand deaths reported in the last month.”

Williamson said it’s also likely because not everyone gets hospitalized from the virus.

“When a patient comes in and they are right on the borderline, they maybe could be taken care of at home, maybe they need to be admitted and if the hospital is full, you are going to try and reserve those beds for patients who have to be admitted.”

Even though case numbers and hospitalizations are trending downwards, the state’s percent positivity is still 16 percent. Williamson said that means numbers can easily go back up.

“We are not anywhere near where we need to be in terms of having this under control,” Williamson said.

Williamson said since many Labor Day celebrations are outdoors, that likely helped slow the spread. He said the upcoming holidays are more indoor events, so the risk is higher, and those celebrations right now are still a potential risk for our cases.

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