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Huntsville Hospital CEO: Coronavirus cases keep rising, hospital beds filling up

The CEO said an additional 11 people have been hospitalized in Madison County since Monday.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 6:53 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 9:55 AM

WAAY 31 learned 34 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in Madison County as of Thursday morning.

That's 11 additional patients since Monday.

David Spillers, Huntsville Hopsital CEO, said we need stop the numbers from growing.

"If it doesn't slow down fairly significantly soon, it's going to get out of control for this area and the rest of the state," he said.

Spillers said there are now 87 patients hospitalized in the Huntsville Hospital system across North Alabama.

He explained treating one coronavirus patient requires the same amount of resources as treating 10 regular patients. If the rise in cases doesn't slow down, he said the hospital might not have room for people who get sick.

"Are we willing to do what it takes to keep this from spreading, or are we just going to let it run rampant? If we let it run rampant for too long, then I can't promise people when they need a hospital bed they're going to have one or if they need a nurse there is going to be one available," he said.

Thursday afternoon, Spillers rang the alarm bell for North Alabama. Hours earlier, the state announced a new record for new coronavirus cases in a day with more than 1,100. Sixty-five of those are in Madison County.

"It's very concerning. We've seen a substantial rise here in Madison County. We have seen the number of those patients in our hospital rise to a fairly significant level, so we're concerned to say the least at the growing number of patients," he said.

Spillers said the 34 patients who are hospitalized in Madison County are the most seen since the virus hit North Alabama.

"Most of our beds are full and most of our nurses and clinical staff are busy taking care of patients," he said.

Spillers explained everyone needs to listen to the message he started issuing in March.

"It goes back to the original message. Separate, sanitize, and cover your face, please. Let's try to limit the spread of this disease before it gets out of hand. We can't expect to go back to life as we knew it pre-COVID-19 and think that's this not going to continue to be a problem," he said.

Spillers said about 9% of people tested for coronavirus are coming back with a test that shows they have the virus. He said that's an increase of 3% since Monday and about double the national average.

Since the state has reopened from some restrictions over the last month, WAAY 31 asked Spillers if he agrees with Gov. Kay Ivey, who doesn't plan on shutting the state back down.

"I think we had reached our limit on how long people were going to stay sheltered in place, but I'm one of those who believe face coverings have huge benefits," he said.

Leaders across North Alabama have told us they don't plan to put mandatory face covering ordinances in place. Spillers said he's talked to them about it.

"I have shared my opinion, and it's just that, my opinion. As I think we should have more stringent rules on face coverings, and I think that would be very beneficial to all of us. I understandt there perspective about face coverings and how it's hard to enforce," he said.

With 1,100 cases announced in Alabama Thursday, the biggest one day increase, Spillers said a face covering rule might be more effective statewide.

"I would almost rather see that on a statewide level. I think if we are going to do it, let's do it across the entire state as I think some other states are now implementing," he said.

Spillers said the hospital has ordered another machine to process coronavirus test, and there is still a nationwide shortage of the re-agent needed to process the tests.

He also told us the hospital is receiving the amount of remdesivir it needs from the state to treat some of the hospitalized patients.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
Talladega3007
Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
Cherokee857
Geneva780
Lamar751
Fayette671
Clay622
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48712

Reported Deaths: 633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11145197
Davidson10450118
Rutherford285435
Hamilton266533
Sumner155952
Trousdale14945
Williamson122614
Knox10865
Out of TN10657
Wilson89117
Putnam8537
Robertson81511
Sevier7683
Lake6910
Bradley6623
Tipton6335
Bledsoe6181
Unassigned5811
Bedford5455
Montgomery5347
Macon4363
Maury3263
Hardeman3255
Hamblen3144
Fayette3102
Madison2802
Loudon2771
Rhea2760
Dyer2401
McMinn22718
Cheatham2251
Blount2123
Dickson2010
Cumberland1784
Lawrence1526
Washington1420
Lauderdale1393
Monroe1376
Jefferson1250
Gibson1211
Coffee1170
Anderson1162
Obion1132
Smith1111
Sullivan1082
Hardin1047
Greene952
Haywood922
Cocke900
Franklin823
Wayne820
Marshall811
Hickman800
Warren720
Marion714
White703
McNairy680
Weakley631
Lincoln610
DeKalb600
Grundy591
Overton591
Roane590
Hawkins572
Carter561
Giles561
Unicoi550
Henry450
Campbell441
Carroll441
Henderson440
Polk440
Claiborne410
Grainger400
Johnson390
Cannon360
Crockett343
Meigs330
Perry330
Sequatchie330
Chester300
Humphreys271
Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
Decatur220
Fentress220
Scott180
Clay160
Union160
Houston140
Benton131
Moore120
Van Buren80
Lewis60
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

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