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Hospitalizations, Covid-19 vaccines and preparing for the holiday season

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Coronavirus hospitalizations across Alabama are finally decreasing.

For the first time in more than a month, hospitalizations are below 2,000, but the Alabama Department of Public Health warns there's also been a high number of deaths.

Judy Smith, with the Alabama Department of Public Health, said around Sept. 1, there was a massive spike in hospitalizations, but since then, numbers have started to fall. The state has also seen a high number of deaths linked to the virus, in the weeks following the beginning of Sept.

More people in Morgan County need to get vaccinated to keep hospitalizations and deaths low.

"How many people do we let have a serious illness, have serious aftermath to those illnesses or even die, while we're getting to that point," said Smith. "The best option we have is the vaccination and will continue to make it available."

Only 44% of people living in Morgan County have at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The holiday season, also right around the corner. Health leaders warn that any time there's a large gathering, there's the risk of a super spreader event.

"There's always that risk of danger that you're going to be with a group where at least 50% of the folks are not vaccinated and are not protected, so we just urge people to do what they need to do to protect themselves, to protect their families," said Smith.

While people continue to battle the virus, there's a potentially life-saving treatment out there.

Last week, the state announced a change in the monoclonal antibody treatments distribution. Many hospitals and clinics were concerned about their supply.

Smith said from her knowledge, every clinic or hospital needing the infusion treatment, has been able to get it.

Clinics and hospitals just have to record the amount of treatment used each week and then record how much supply they're needing.

"Based on allocation, given to the state health department, it's being allocated as rapidly as possible to those folks who say they need it and will use it," said Smith.

Dr. Harris said if there's an area considered as a hotspot for infection, they may need to allocate the treatment to areas needing it most.

The Federal Government decided to change the way the antibody treatment was distributed because 75% of the treatment was being used by states in the southeast.

It's important to get the monoclonal antibody treatment during the 10-day window of infection. You can find a location site to get the infusion, here.

Huntsville will have its COVID-19 briefing tomorrow at noon. You can watch it live on WAAY31 News

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