Huntsville Hospital sees increase in coronavirus cases two weeks after Thanksgiving

The growing number of people getting help for the virus comes two weeks since Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 7:33 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 7:59 PM

Huntsville Hospital is seeing another increase in the number of coronavirus patients.

The growing number of people getting help for the virus comes two weeks since Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

A lot of the patients Huntsville Hospital is treating arrived through the emergency room. Many of them arrived with severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath.

The medical director at the emergency room says the cases they’re seeing involve people who got together for Thanksgiving.

"Right now, we're sort of seeing the 'after Thanksgiving gangs,' the ones that got together and may not have had any symptoms, but then, they go home and yes, you have it. And we are seeing the downside of that," said Dr. Sherrie Squyres, Medical Director of Huntsville Hospital ER.

Dr. Squyres urges people to avoid travel, keep their groups small and not be around people they do not know for the next several weeks to stop the spread of the virus during the holiday season.

Huntsville Hospital also sees positive coronavirus cases even in patients that do not have any symptoms. The staff is surprised when they have a COVID-positive patient who isn't at the hospital for coronavirus complications.

So, hospital staff has learned during the pandemic, they have to be cautious around every patient, because people could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to others in the hospital.

"We'll see some of our trauma patients that are COVID positive. We'll see our heart attack patients COVID positive. So, you walk into a room of 10 or 20 people, chances are somebody in that room is COVID positive," said Dr. Squyres.

Huntsville Hospital does not want people to be afraid to come in and get help for a non-coronavirus issue, though. That's a problem hospital staff has seen during the pandemic.

Doctors say patients are avoiding coming to the emergency room because they are worried about catching the virus. Some patients are even telling paramedics to not take them to the emergency room, even when they are having severe symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pains.

"We had people that were coming in with, they probably had a heart attack several days before and they hadn't come in with chest pains because of this," said Dr. Squyres.

Doctors say that patients are not going to catch coronavirus by going to the emergency room. If anything, they might be bringing it in.

Hospital staff says they are very careful and screen patients for coronavirus that come in. Doctors say everyone at the hospital is following all guidelines.

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