Huntsville-Madison County health leaders see sharp increase in coronavirus cases

Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeff Birdwell provided an update Thursday on the area's coronavirus outbreak.

Posted: Nov 12, 2020 3:35 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2020 9:37 PM

Madison County is seeing a sharp increase in coronavirus cases.

Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeff Birdwell says confirmed cases of the virus were up 166 on Thursday, which is the fifth highest since the pandemic began.

According to Birdwell, as of Thursday, there have been 975 confirmed cases in Madison County for the month of November. He says there were 1,558 confirmed cases during the month of October.

Within 12 days in November, we are at 62% of the total number of cases for the month of October, according to Birdwell. He says at this pace, November will hit 2,400 confirmed cases.

Huntsville Hospital reported their Flu and Fever Clinic recorded above a 30% positive rate for coronavirus testing, the highest percentage so far, Birdwell said.

Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said they're watching the spike closely and expect it to peak by the end of this month or early next month. He said with the upcoming holidays and businesses back open, he wants people to follow guidelines to stop the spread.

Spillers said right now, the hospital is looking at different models that predict the hospital will peak with about 125 coronavirus inpatients in the end of November or beginning of December. That number of inpatients is what they saw when hospitalizations surged back in August.

He explained one out of five people who get tested for coronavirus are testing positve, and he thinks employers should start having any employees who can, work from home again.

"With all the Covid that's in the community right now, I think businesses should relook at if employees can work at home, make sure they are working at home," he said. "You want people to not socialize and transmit the virus. It's very hard for people to do that. So far, every holiday has led to an increase in the community."

Spillers said a lot of cases are coming from people getting it in the workplace because people are getting too comfortable and don't wear masks and are staying in rooms together too long.

He hopes everyone will continue to separate, sanitize and wear a mask.

As of Thursday, 10,145 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Madison County. The first case was diagnosed back in March.

Spillers said right now, they don't have plans to reopen the John Hunt Park testing site because there are so many options for testing in the community.

However, he said if they deem it's necessary, they will open the site up again.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says 105 coronavirus deaths have been confirmed in Madison County since March.

You can see EMA’s report for the area below:

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