Alabama COVID Cases Fill Intensive Care Beds Amid Delta Rise And Low Vaccination

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A growing wave of new COVID-19 infections and subsequent hospitalizations is straining healthcare facilities in Alabama, with just 7% of the state’s intensive care unit beds open on Friday.

Hospitals have surge plans to convert different units, wards, and beds, and the number of intensive care beds in the state may change as hospitals adjust. But health professionals in the state in recent days have expressed concern as COVID units begin to reach capacity, straining doctors and nurses already exhausted in the past 18 months.

The state counted 1,923 people hospitalized for COVID-19 on Friday, with at least 37 pediatric patients hospitalized on Thursday.

“These numbers are on the rise,” public health official Dr Scott Harris said on Friday. “It has been reported to us by hospitals that virtually all of these patients are unvaccinated patients. “

Alabama officials – from Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville to doctors in small town emergency rooms – called on the public this week to research COVID-19 vaccines. All say they believe that current vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious illness or death, even with “breakthrough” infections.

“This is probably the biggest fear I have ever had as a healthcare professional in my entire career,” said Joe Stough, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Infirmary Health, an organization Mobile based which oversees a number of hospitals. Stough expressed frustration this week that this new wave was largely “preventable,” had Alabama been less reluctant to the vaccine in the spring.

CASES OF COVID IN ALABAMA: COVID-19 outbreak is straining southern Alabama hospitals, chief operating officer says

Some small hospitals in the state already have intensive care capacity, while large metropolitan hospitals like the UAB in Birmingham may soon have to cut back on some services, such as previously scheduled surgeries, to redirect resources and staff to health centers. Growing COVID services.

“I know some hospitals have done this before. A lot of them make playtime decisions every day when they see what their facility can handle on a day-to-day basis,” Harris said. “… At the end of the day, they’re going to have to make these decisions.”

Dr Tyler Hughes, an emergency room doctor in Guntersville, Alabama, posted a public appeal on social media this week, writing that the new wave of COVID is like watching “once again through the barrel of that loaded gun For professional tired health care.

“It’s not fun, or fair, to feel like the last person someone talks or sees before going on a ventilator. COVID-19 has made all of this a harsh reality. And now, with that last wave, we’re looking him straight in the eye again, ”said Hughes.

Hughes is not one to get into public debate, but said he was frustrated with the massive amount of misinformation surrounding the vaccine as the front lines watched their hospital beds fill up again. The doctor wanted to appeal to those hesitant about the vaccine and offered to personally discuss anyone’s concerns with them.

“I will recommend vaccination 10 out of 10 times instead of getting seriously ill from COVID-19,” Hughes said. “I strongly support your decision to make the right choice for you as a patient, but I firmly believe that I would be remiss if I did not at least publicly recommend that I get the vaccine. I am very worried about your health. I want nothing but the best for my family and friends – I would never do anything to deliberately endanger someone. “

Harris’ vaccination rate in Alabama is on the rise

Harris said the state recorded at least 10,000 new vaccinations a day, every day last week, a sign of hope after vaccination rates hit a low earlier this summer. About 16,000 people requested a photo on July 30, the highest daily request the state has seen since mid-May. About two-thirds of those injections were first doses, Harris said.

But for now, the current wave of infections in Alabama shows no signs of stopping. A month ago, 297 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide. In four weeks, hospitalizations have grown at a faster rate than the state saw in its deadly midwinter wave, which peaked at just over 3,000 daily hospitalizations in January. If the spread continues at the same rate, Alabama could overtake the January surge by mid-August.

“We might not have a place to put you,” Stough, the mobile hospital manager, said this week of the increase in hospital admissions. “It limits our ability to manage common and common illnesses. This is a much larger conversation about impacts. It is not necessarily about [just getting COVID-19]. “

Tuberville this week urged the Alabamians to listen to experts on the ground like Stough.

“Raising our vaccinations and reducing the number of cases is very, very important,” Tuberville said.

Mask warrants return to Alabama

Tuberville, Gov. Kay Ivey and other political leaders have been hesitant to consider new mask mandates, but many school systems in Alabama this week began considering mask guidelines for the new school year in amid widespread recommendations from public health officials to hide during the new wave.

The University of Alabama followed Auburn’s lead on Thursday by reinstating a rule on indoor masks. Everyone on the AU campus will be required to wear a face covering indoors, for at least the first two weeks of class, which begins August 18. Alabama State University will also require masks this fall.

Schools in the town of Gadsden this week made masks mandatory for the fall, while the school systems in Etowah County and the town of Attalla announced they will be optional.

Montgomery Public Schools will also require masks for students, staff and visitors inside its buildings.

Alabama COVID-19 Vaccination Rate


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