Medical experts fear COVID surge post holiday season

Local News

Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT) — Health experts throughout the country fear COVID-19 cases could rise after the holiday season.

Doctors at UAB say some of their worst fears were realized a couple weeks after Thanksgiving when they saw a dramatic increase in cases, and they expect the same after both Christmas and New Years.

“And as we thought, there is a stress, a strain on our healthcare systems all throughout the state,” Dr. Michael Saag with UAB said.

Saag says things are continuing to look grim for the public and medical field as thousands continue to die from the virus.

“And across the country right now, we’re having around 3,000 deaths a day. And when you think about it, that’s equal to a 9/11 every single day,” Saag said.

Cases aren’t only rising with the public, but health care workers throughout the state are getting sick as well.

“When they are infected, they can’t come to work. And so, that has impacted our staffing adversely, for sure,” Dr. Sarah Nafziger with UAB said.

“Our number one goal is to make sure we are available not only to take care of folks who have COVID related conditions, but also to make sure we can attend to patients who present to us other emergency conditions,” Nafziger said.

And with New Years Eve in a few days, experts urge people to still following all CDC guidelines.

“Wear our masks. Avoid going out unless we have to. It’s not something we should necessarily fear, but respect,” Saag said.

Nafziger says many hospital workers and other first responders made the tough choice in not seeing family and friends this Christmas, but they believe the sacrifice was worth it. They want to do everything they can to keep patients healthy and hospitals staffed.

“We want to be here for our community and do our jobs. And make sure we are here for our patients and here for one another,” Nafziger said.

Because experts say the pandemic is not over yet.

Dr. Saag says the vaccine may be the light at the end of the tunnel, but that’s only if majority of the population is vaccinated.


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