Coronavirus hospitalization numbers are decreasing, but health experts say not for a good reason. In fact, it’s because the number of deaths are rising.
Health officials say there have been 30 deaths in Madison County in just seven days. They want the community to know these are people and not just data, and it’s why they’re urging everyone to do their part to keep themselves and those around them safe for this virus.
The best way they say to do that is to get vaccinated. Right now, of the 181 inpatients in the county, around 85 to 90% of those are unvaccinated. Health officials said 90% of the deaths also come from those who aren’t vaccinated.
While vaccination rates in the county are improving, it’s not at the rate that officials say it needs to be. They said the best way to slow this latest surge in deaths is to keep pushing more people to get vaccinated.
"Sometimes, we become discouraged because we say this all the time, but ... I think that's what we have to do — try anyway to ensure that the people have factual information to make the decision that is best not only for their family, their loved ones, for them, but also for our entire state," said Dr. Karen Landers, Madison County health officer. "Let's do all we can to help everyone."
Another concern for health officials is the rate at which children are being hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, especially since all children are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
Landers said between 45 and 50 children across the state have been hospitalized with Covid-19 within the last seven days, which is very concerning to her, because those numbers are holding steady.
Landers said the number of children who are dying from the disease remains low, and they've had few fatalities in this age group since the pandemic began, but that isn't a reason to let one's guard down. Some who have contracted the virus continue to experience long-term side effects, even after recovery.
She encouraged parents and guardians to get eligible children vaccinated against Covid-19 and to make sure that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, continues to wear their masks as community transmission remains high.