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North Alabama hospital leaders worry about capacity as one-third of patients have coronavirus

About a third of inpatients in North Alabama hospitals are coronavirus patients, according to officials.

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 6:29 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2020 7:54 PM

The continuing rise in coronavirus cases is putting a strain on staff and facilities, hospital leaders in Madison County said on Tuesday.

They're evaluating canceling some surgeries due to the spike in cases as hospitals get closer and closer to reaching maximum capacity. Huntsville Hospital and Crestwood Hospital CEOs both said they're still doing out-patient surgeries, but evaluating inpatient elective surgeries at different hospital across North Alabama because with coronavirus inpatients and sick staff, it's getting harder to offer those procedures.

"While we can stretch our physical capacity, the thing we cannot stretch is our staffing capacity. COVID is exposing our workforce, health care and other essential personnel, at home and in their social gatherings," said Pam Hudson, Crestwood Hospital CEO.

"In Decatur, Morgan for example, about a third of the patients they have in the hospital are COVID patients. They are basically full at 150 patients and that's where they are today, total. Helen Keller is also about a third of their patients are COVID patients, the same with Marshall. Athens is down a little bit this week. Knock on wood this week, their numbers are actually down. Huntsville Main, we've got about 100 in that hospital. There's about 600-plus other types of patients there, many of them very sick, critically ill. That's where that care takes place in North Alabama. We have limited inpatient elective surgeries because the hospital beds are basically full. Women's and Children's is also basically full with many other things other than COVID. About a third of the beds in Madison are currently COVID patients. You can see that theme come up over and over again. They're having to limit, potentially," said David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO.

"If you see a hospital stop doing some elective or some non-emergent type cases, it is because of the concern that we might have to make a decision that we might have to provide somebody with less of the care that we want to provide," said Hudson.

"Little concerned about the projections, and I hate to mention the projections 'cause they haven't been perfect, but the indicators have been pretty close. We will see more inpatients before we actually start coming back down again. Could be as many as 50% more than we're seeing today. Please be careful. Do your best to try to stay safe and help us get through this. We want to be there to help you when you need us. We don't want to be overwhelmed. We're getting close to being overwhelmed if the numbers continue to rise like they are," Spillers said.

Dr. Karen Landers, Madison County Public Health Officer, also said that the hospitals throughout Alabama have a surge plan and prepare for these types of situations to make sure every patient is getting the highest quality of care despite the large volume of patients.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 712406

Reported Deaths: 9162
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby792151211
Davidson73395716
Knox40479455
Hamilton36114353
Rutherford34354299
Unassigned23968147
Williamson22359154
Sumner18891245
Out of TN1653784
Montgomery15282156
Wilson14907170
Sullivan13036229
Blount12443136
Washington12236209
Maury11346133
Bradley11329104
Sevier10910128
Putnam10222153
Madison9387188
Robertson795288
Hamblen7286128
Anderson7054116
Greene6790120
Tipton640975
Coffee579088
Gibson5777118
Dickson560285
Cumberland557079
Bedford547895
Roane537585
McMinn526874
Lawrence525870
Carter5229124
Loudon512755
Warren511659
Jefferson499478
Dyer488587
Monroe472865
Hawkins462477
Franklin427768
Fayette416753
Obion407686
Rhea392858
Lincoln388549
Cocke360666
Marshall358541
Cheatham351232
Weakley347350
Campbell339842
Henderson339262
Giles335776
Carroll319062
White318350
Hardeman316755
Hardin307551
Lauderdale300635
Macon296354
Henry270761
Wayne270425
Overton260646
McNairy250144
DeKalb248545
Haywood245651
Marion237034
Smith235830
Claiborne231834
Trousdale231017
Scott230932
Hickman230337
Grainger218241
Fentress218036
Johnson205835
Morgan197417
Crockett184139
Chester179539
Bledsoe178811
Unicoi170347
Cannon162223
Lake158522
Polk151417
Decatur149028
Union146525
Grundy144222
Sequatchie143020
Humphreys138117
Benton134435
Lewis131321
Meigs119817
Stewart112621
Jackson107024
Clay96926
Perry96725
Houston95126
Moore8359
Pickett69221
Van Buren6769
Hancock4267

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