MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has reached a new high for the number of people in state hospitals with COVID-19.

State health department numbers on Monday indicated that 1,717 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. That’s the highest number of virus hospitalizations reported since the pandemic began. The previous high was a little over 1,600 in mid-summer. The new record comes before an expected spike in cases in the weeks following Thanksgiving gatherings.

A former state health officer, who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, described the spread as “out of control.”