Alabama hospitals still struggling after COVID-19 surge disrupts regular operations

Coronavirus

(AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance)

MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) – Despite a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the US and here in Alabama, hospitals in the state are still struggling to care for COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients.

According to the Alabama Hospital Association, there are about 900 COVID-19 patients being treated in Alabama hospitals.  That’s down from the most recent high of 2,900 in early September. 

And while that’s good news, hospitals in Alabama are still facing challenges, COVID-19 related and not.

“Unfortunately, there are still some things that are clearly worrisome. Number one, we clearly saw declines in non-COVID patients.  And we delayed substantial numbers of non-emergency procedures,” said Dr. Don Williamson, President of the AHA.

Williamson said exhausted hospital workers likely won’t have much of a break even with the number of COVID-19 patients decreasing.

“We could have the combination of a surge of admissions from non-COVID related issues, cancers, heart disease, those sorts of things, coupled with a bad influenza season,” Williamson said.

Williamson pointed out that the number of COVID-19 patients in the state needs to drop to around 200 to create enough bed space for hospitals to return to more normal working conditions.

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