The Huntsville Hospital system has around 500 inpatients in hospitals. They've been hovering around that number for awhile now during the coronavirus pandemic.
"At 10 o'clock, we had 497 COVID-positive inpatients in our hospitals," said David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital.
Of those, 236 are in Madison County.
"As a system, we've been hovering right around that 500 mark for awhile now," said Spillers.
That's because as patients leave, more come in.
"Every day, our system discharges roughly 50 to 55 patients, but we're admitting 55 to 60 patients," said Spillers.
The positivity rate for the COVID-19 virus is running around 35%. In some areas, though, it's 50%.
"That's an extremely high positivity rate," said Spillers.
That means if you're sick, you have a really good chance that you have the virus.
"So, if you're sick and you have not seen a physician or been to get tested, please assume you have COVID until you find out you don't have COVID," said Spillers.
Now, David Spillers said that he is not worried about running out of beds in the hospitals, but he is worried about running out of staff.
About 300 people are out in the Huntsville Hospital system because of the coronavirus. That number comes two weeks after the hospital received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Around 74% of the 6,825 doses that Huntsville Hospital and Athens-Limestone Hospital received have been administered.
Spillers says he is pleased with the number of people that have gotten vaccinated, especially since no one was vaccinated on Christmas day.
"People had heard if I'm getting the vaccine, I'm going to feel bad. So, our schedule didn't fill up as much as we had hoped right before Christmas, because people didn't want to have any side effects over Christmas," said Spillers.
Spillers says the sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine has filled up nicely this week. The hospital is only vaccinating health care workers currently.
"We're trying to get as many of those people vaccinated as possible," said Spillers.
The hospital cannot vaccinate people outside of group 1A, which is health care workers, until the state gives them permission.
"We will need the state to say, 'we are now in category 1B' before we can start vaccinating anyone in category 1B. And once they do that, we'll work on a methodology for people to sign up," said Spillers.
The hospital needs to receive more vaccines, though, to vaccinate all of the frontline workers.
"We have capacity to administer a lot more doses than we know we're gonna have. At this point, if you look at the allocation here in Madison County, we've about vaccinated every one we can vaccinate with the initial shipment of Pfizer vaccines," said Spillers.
Spillers hopes that vaccine shipments become more regular so more health care workers can be vaccinated.