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Hospitalizations are improving but still a concern

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:37 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s hospitalizations are down over 50%.

There were over 2800 hospitalizations in late August, but today there are about 1100 COVID patients. While that brings some optimism, the head of the Alabama Hospital Association said the pandemic is not over yet.

Dr. Don Williamson agreed with other health leaders in Alabama that the state is on the right track and the numbers are going in the right direction, but those numbers are not falling as fast as they have in the past. Even though positive COVID cases are down, Dr. Williamson is still concerned. Alabama is still seeing about a thousand COVID cases a day. More young people are now being hospitalized and a large number of them are in ICU’s, with many on ventilators. Younger patients are not mostly vaccinated, which is a chief reason for seeing more of those 40 years old and younger in hospitals. The majority of older populations are fully vaccinated.

The Delta variant may be waning, but it remains very contagious. Williamson said he has major concerns for what we will see in Alabama when it comes to COVID deaths. “If you look at the 400 in ICU, the 300 on ventilators and translate that on what it means for outcomes. We currently have 200 or more in the hospital that will likely lose their battle against COVID from just what we have seen before.” Dr. Williamson said.

Williamson said the big concern is November. If the numbers drop slowly and if there is a surge of flu cases, that means there will be a large number of people with COVID in hospitals and ICU’s. This could cause hospitals to struggle to treat those with severe cases of the flu.

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