COVID hospitalization numbers continuing to fluctuate
By WVUA Digital Reporter Anneliese Taggart
Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson said it appears hospitalizations have stabilized in part due to vaccination and increased use of monoclonal antibodies, which prevent people from getting too sick for hospital care. Although data from Labor Day weekend has yet to be released, Williamson said we are in a surge right now, but the weekend looked like there could have been a greater chance for more infections.
“At this point, hospitalizations may have stabilized, but if it stabilized, it stabilized at an extraordinarily high number, and we still don’t, and won’t have, probably for two weeks, a handle on what, if anything, labor day did because it could certainly have driven up hospitalizations even more and we would see that in about ten days to two weeks.”
The rate of hospitalizations is continuing to fluctuate – Iast week, it went up to 80% and then dropped a little bit this week. At one point, the hospitals had been down to 115 patients and they are now back up to 277. There are still over 800 people in the ICU and over 600 COVID patients on ventilators. With a positivity rate of 22% and 64 more patients needing ICU beds than there are beds available, Williamson warned that we are far from finished with this fight against COVID, and may see worsened conditions with the start of football season.
“We are worried that more people will get infected if you put 50,000 or 100,000 people in a stadium and 50 of them aren’t vaccinated, you have a real risk – especially with the Delta variant – of seeing transmission of the virus, even though it’s outside. My fear is that things are set up, potentially to get worse over the next several weeks.”
Williamson encourages everyone to pause and think for a minute of the people we know who’ve died, the families of loved ones and friends that have been impacted, the individuals they know who are still fighting the virus, and our healthcare workers.
“We need to pay attention to the reality that we are a long way from being done with this and over 12,400 people have now lost their lives against the battle of COVID in Alabama… we need to be vigilant and be aware that Delta’s not the end… there will be more variants and the only way we’re going to stay ahead of Delta is to get vaccinations to everyone who is capable.”