BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris became emotional during a press conference Friday morning while discussing the current state of COVID-19. He said cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising at an alarming rate. Alabama’s positivity rate is at 23%, among the highest in the country.
“I don’t know how much longer we are going to be able to do this,” Dr. Harris said.
Dr. Harris announced they are receiving federal aid with medical task forces coming to the state. A 14-member team is in Baldwin County, and another 20 person team of physicians, doctors, etc. is set to arrive in Dothan over the weekend. Morgue trailers are also being set up outside of hospitals in both Mobile and Baldwin counties.
“We have had double-digit number of deaths in the 30’s, 40’s, and sometimes as many as 50 for the last two or three weeks now,” Dr. Harris said.
“We have enough people dying in such numbers at these locations, there is no room to put these bodies,” Dr. Harris said.
Scott McBrayer is the CEO of Ridout’s Valley Chapel in Homewood. He says funeral homes throughout the state are having more and more services because of COVID deaths, which can put a strain on them as well.
“We go through the same kind of strain just on the opposite end of it,” McBrayer said.
McBrayer says right now, their funeral home isn’t too overwhelmed by the virus, but they have to be prepared for anything.
“We just have to be able to adapt and relate to families and fulfill whatever needs that they have,” McBrayer said.
Experts like Dr. Harris say COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon.
“And until we get vaccinated, otherwise I don’t how long we’re going to be sitting here having this conversation,’ Dr. Harris said.