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Officials say hospitals are preparing for next surge

Hospitalizations and coronavirus
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 8:54 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID cases are continuing to decline across the state ,and health officials said hospitals are finally starting to see some relief.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said ICUs are no longer slammed with COVID patients. There are now more than 150 ventilators open in the state, but officials said they are still gearing up to tackle the virus again.

Williamson said we will likely see another surge from a new variant, but it’s hard to say exactly how long it will be. He’s hoping for months, so hospitals can prepare.

He said the state is working to stock up on monoclonal antibody treatments, but those infusions are given out on a demand basis, so Williamson said it’s hard to say how much hospitals will be able to save.

But, he said the state should be able to stock up on antiviral treatment pills before the next wave.

“Hopefully over the next three months or so, if we can get that kind of time before our next surge, we will have them more readily available and then individuals will be able to as soon as they test positive, to immediately get a prescription,” Williamson said.

Williamson said hospitals are also taking this downtime with COVID to try and hire more staff, but he said it will likely be years before the healthcare industry bounces back and has enough workers.

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