Leaders in Madison County gave one last final push for people to be personally responsible for their safety and the wellbeing of others this Thanksgiving as we're seeing a steady increase in coronavirus cases in North Alabama and across the state.
About a dozen local officials gathered at Huntsville City Hall on Tuesday. We've heard from each of them throughout the last nine months as they've worked around the clock on plans to control coronavirus in Madison County.
All of them expressed how tired everyone is from coronavirus, but it's more important now than ever that we stop the spread of the virus and don't let Thanksgiving cause an even greater surge in cases.
"It weighs heavily on me as a physician, as a physician of many years, it weighs heavily on me as a public health officer, the decisions that I make, in terms of the instructions I provide for isolation, for quarantine and for management of the case load of patients I actually have, myself. It weighs heavily on me as a mother. Someone asked me what I was going to do for Thanksgiving, and the first thing I am going to do for Thanksgiving is to continue to be thankful for, in spite of this storm, to be thankful for the continued opportunity to serve the citizens of Alabama. I'm thankful for my family, and I'm thankful for my family that has stood by me in this and for the support that I have received," said Dr. Karen Landers, Madison County Health Officer.
"Be careful. I know everyone wants to get together for Thanksgiving. It's not a time to have a family event, I'm sorry, do it by Zoom. Do it creatively, but try not to get together. There is just too much COVID in the community, and in too many cases, you don't know if the person you're around has COVID. They don't know they're COVID positive, until they've possibly been with you. About 10% that come to the hospital with COVID die. It's just the statistic nationwide. It's going to happen. Every time we can avoid people coming from the hospital, we're less likely to lose one of our loved ones or our friends from COVID," said David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO.
"Right now, COVID has us on the run. We're infecting each other at rates above our July spike. In July, we spiked to somewhere around 14 or 15% transmission, and right now, we are running 20%. Last week, some of the numbers indicated that we were closer to 30%. I find that very alarming, and again, as Mr. Spillers has pointed out, it kind of means there isn't any near end in sight if we don't do something dramatic now," said Dr. Pam Hudson, Crestwood Hospital CEO.