UAB doctor: ‘We are seeing the highest number of patients I have ever taken care of in my 10 years of being a hospitalist’

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — 79 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at UAB Hospital. Doctors with UAB said many of those hospitalizations are patients in their 20s and 30s.

Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, UAB’s chief of hospital medicine said, for her personally, these are record-breaking numbers.

“We also have our normal number of non-COVID patients and so, we are definitely seeing the highest number of patients I have ever taken care of in my ten years of being a hospitalist here,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said nearly all of the patients she admits said they were playing it safe, or so they thought.

“Every person that I admit, what they will tell me is that, ‘well I hung out with one or two people’ or ‘I was only there for an hour or so.’ And in their minds, what they were doing was really low risk,” said Kennedy.

She said those patients are a lot sicker than what they would expect from COVID-19.

Dr. Rachael Lee, an epidemiologist with UAB said most other states saw a dip in cases at some point during the pandemic. UAB did not, with no fewer than 35 patients.

“That can really weigh on us a lot, particularly when it is preventable,” said Lee.

UAB doctors said if there is one message they can send home with you this holiday week, it’s to remember we are still in a pandemic. We still need to wear a mask, wash our hands, and social distance.


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