COVID hospitalizations down in Alabama; positivity rate still one of highest in nation


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama has seen a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent days, but the state’s positivity rate for the virus is still one of the highest in the nation.

According to the president of the Alabama Hospital Association Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama went from 20% to 13% positive rate.

Experts believe the reason for the drop in hospitalizations is due to the vaccine and other COVID-19 treatments. Though Mondays’ news is positive, they say the pandemic is far from over.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” UAB Dr. Michael Saag said.

The number Williamson is happy to see is the recent drop in hospitalizations.

“We’re down from 3,088 hospitalizations at our peak, today we had 1,888 hospitalizations. Down 1200,” Dr. Williamson said.

He says the recent drop will help hospitals with emergency services and procedures for non-COVID patients.

“Frees up beds for those patients. It just makes taking care of everyone who needs health care much easier,” Williamson said.

Both Williamson and Saag tell CBS 42 hospitals across the state are using monoclonal anti-body treatments for high-risk COVID-19 patients. Saag says the treatment has dropped hospitalization rates tremendously.

“We’ve treated at UAB alone over 400 in the month of January and only 15 people have actually needed to go into the hospital who received that treatment,” Saag said.

Though experts are happy to report some good news. new variants of the virus could cause issues down the line.

“And I think frankly, the emergence of variants are probably going to prolong the safe return in normality,” Williamson said.

But people not following the guidelines still has most experts annoyed.

“And we’re engaging in activities like going to bars and sitting in crowded areas and not wearing masks,” Saag said.

Experts urge public to still follow all CDC guidelines in order to make sure the downward trend in cases and hospitalizations continues.

“Wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, keeping safe distances and washing hands frequently,” Saag said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has created a website where the public can schedule an appointment and check their eligibility for the vaccine.


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