UPDATE: Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said we are not seeing an increase in the amount of young people testing positive or being hospitalized after schools reopened for in-person learning.
As of Wednesday, there are 118 people with coronavirus hospitalized in Huntsville Hosptial's facilities in the region. Spillers said this is up 17 inpatients from two weeks ago. Of those patients, 41 are in ICUs and 17 are on ventilators.
In Madison County, there are 61 people with coronavirus hospitalized in Huntsville Hospital’s facilities. Fourteen patients are in ICUs and eight are on ventilators.
There are two people with coronavirus hospitalized in Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville, according to Spillers.
Spillers said Madison County is about where it was two weeks ago, with a slight increase that’s probably the result of Labor Day. He said this is nothing like what we saw after the Fourth of July.
Spillers also said the inpatients in hospitals appear to not be as acutely ill as in the past. He said the statewide trend is about flat for hospitalizations, which is well below the peak.
Demand for coronavirus testing at the Huntsville Hospital Fever and Flu Clinic is down to about 100 a day. Spillers said more people are wanting rapid testing, but he cautioned there are a lot of false negatives with rapid tests.
Spillers did say that testing demand is up in Morgan and Limestone Counties.
Overall, he said not much has changed for the positivity rate locally, with about 9% of people being tested receiving positive results.
Spillers said it’s possible but not probable to have coronavirus and the flu at the same time, and he encouraged people to get flu shots.
He said many models are predicting another coronavirus spike in November or December.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 47 employees in the Huntsville Hospital system out for coronavirus-related reasons. Twenty-three of those are from facilities in Madison County.
“We feel blessed that our staff are staying healthy,” Spillers said during the news conference on Wednesday.
Officials are holding a news conference about coronavirus Wednesday afternoon in Huntsville.
At noon, we expect to hear from Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
As of Wednesday morning, 8,005 total cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Madison County.
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended Alabama’s Safer at Home health order and mandatory masking for another five weeks, to expire on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.
Stay with WAAY 31 on air and online for updates.
You can find more coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.