DCH under strain as COVID numbers climb again

Dch Emergency Room 2

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Joseph King

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising around the U.S. amid the omicron variant surge, and DCH Health System in West Alabama is no exception.

DCH Marketing and Communications Vice President Andy North said beds are filling rapidly.

“About a week ago we were around a dozen,” North said. “As of right now we’re at 52 COVID-positive inpatients.”

 As of Jan. 5, there are 56 COVID-19 inpatients at DCH. Of those, 20 have gotten a full round of vaccinations while 36 are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. Eleven patients are in the ICU, and all are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

“The majority of the individuals we’re seeing in the hospital are unvaccinated,” North said. “So we are asking, pleading for the community to go get vaccinated or get their booster.”

As COVID-19 cases spike around the city and inside the hospital, North said, DCH staff get sick, too.  

“It tends to mirror when we have those little spikes with the hospital,” North said. “So far for the most part the staff have not gotten very sick, but it has had an impact on us overall.”

North said tests cannot discern which variant patients have, but he believes it’s likely most of the inpatients have omicron.

Hospital procedures haven’t changed since the last COVID-19 outbreak, North said. You can read the hospital’s visitation policy right here.

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