Alabama Hospital Association: COVID Surge Expected in Early January

State health officials are concerned about how COVID-19 numbers will be impacted by holiday gatherings and travel.

Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson said Alabama is expecting another COVID-19 surge about three weeks after Christmas.

On Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported treating 2,802 people who are in the hospital battling COVID-19.

“We are starting in a very bad place since we moved forward now after Christmas,” said Williamson. “I’m very worried about holiday travel and gatherings. There were a lot of family gatherings where people have pictures of them not wearing masks.”

Williamson said he estimates that well over 3,000 people will be in hospitals with COVID come January.

“I keep hearing people say we’re turning the corner because we have a vaccine,” Williamson said. “We have 120,000 doses of vaccines from two sources and it’s great, but that’s 120,000 people getting one shot out of a population of 5 million. It’s a start, but it’s certainly not turning the corner.”

Health officials said the vaccine won’t be available enough to help tamp down on cases within the next few weeks.

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