Number of COVID-19 patients rising at DCH in Tuscaloosa

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The number of COVID-19 patients being treated at DCH Regional Medical Center continues to rise.

Some City leaders are concerned the numbers will continue to surge after Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Chief Randy Smith from Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue says we are not out of the woods yet.

“We do expect the numbers to go back up due to the holidays and we feel like there will be another spike due to Christmas and New Year’s,” Chief Smith said.

As of Friday, DCH is treating 163 patients, 36 are in the ICU and 18 are on ventilators. While the hospital might be struggling, City Councilman Lee Busby is hoping the Pfizer Vaccine will help turn things around and eventually stop the virus. Two weeks ago, doctors and nurses began getting their vaccinations.

“We are banking on it and I think there is a collective sigh of relief here and around the country and Alabama and in Tuscaloosa. But it has been a scary time because of the uncertainty and danger to people but we are working our way through it,” Busby said.

Chief Smith says people have to stick to the basics to slow the spread.

“We are still pushing the basics: wash your hands, social distance, wear a mask and clean surfaces.  Coming out of the holidays we saw some spikes and we know there will be additional spikes. We watch the numbers across the nation and as you’ve seen everything is going up,” he said.

DCH continues to search for qualified nurses to hire part-time to help increase hospital staff during the pandemic.  

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