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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: 136549

Reported Deaths: 2378
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19833350
Mobile13471292
Montgomery8865184
Tuscaloosa8744118
Madison797878
Shelby604349
Lee594560
Baldwin558850
Marshall396743
Calhoun354844
Etowah354045
Morgan332728
Houston293521
Elmore269148
DeKalb243521
St. Clair234036
Walker233084
Talladega217729
Limestone213520
Cullman191120
Dallas179326
Franklin179029
Autauga178525
Russell17653
Lauderdale174033
Colbert167526
Blount161815
Escambia161424
Chilton159330
Jackson158911
Covington140327
Dale139944
Coffee13656
Pike120510
Chambers117242
Tallapoosa116685
Clarke110416
Marion97129
Butler91439
Barbour8867
Winston74512
Marengo72620
Pickens66814
Randolph66013
Bibb65710
Lowndes65727
Hale64928
Geneva6384
Lawrence62823
Cherokee61413
Bullock60714
Clay5928
Monroe5908
Washington56113
Crenshaw54232
Perry5426
Conecuh53711
Wilcox53211
Henry5085
Macon48318
Fayette4678
Sumter43819
Cleburne3895
Lamar3772
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2389
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby31034460
Davidson26685307
Hamilton956495
Knox955080
Rutherford940890
Williamson534136
Sumner488398
Wilson353845
Putnam335541
Montgomery312344
Unassigned30476
Out of TN299727
Bradley296717
Madison294364
Sevier264715
Blount254824
Maury242024
Washington233736
Robertson223135
Sullivan222033
Hamblen194326
Tipton183619
Gibson171323
Trousdale16687
Hardeman158326
Wayne15025
Dyer140314
Bedford137017
Dickson127715
Coffee125513
Cumberland121718
Weakley121219
Fayette120619
Anderson120213
Obion120011
Henderson119124
Loudon11906
Carter117928
Greene116644
McMinn115025
Jefferson113414
Warren10787
Lawrence107713
Macon106821
Monroe105818
Hardin105216
Lauderdale99516
Haywood99221
Franklin98910
Lake9252
McNairy91818
Roane9096
Carroll90520
Bledsoe8624
Rhea85013
White8499
Hawkins82318
Cheatham81910
Marshall7805
Overton7666
Cocke75310
Smith73411
Johnson7292
Chester64610
Giles63717
Henry6289
Lincoln6281
Hickman5998
DeKalb57214
Crockett54419
Marion5388
Decatur5317
Fentress5273
Campbell4564
Claiborne4425
Polk40610
Grainger3863
Union3712
Benton3399
Jackson3325
Morgan3213
Grundy3126
Cannon2950
Unicoi2881
Humphreys2633
Sequatchie2421
Clay2345
Houston2283
Meigs2283
Stewart2192
Scott2182
Lewis2071
Moore1801
Van Buren1660
Perry1530
Pickett1232
Hancock1073

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