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The North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC) in Florence is a private hospital, which means it doesn't have to answer a lot of questions.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, WAAY 31 has asked hospital officials several questions about how many coronavirus patients they are treating, the number of ICU beds, staffing, and if they have adequate PPEs.
WAAY 31 sent the hospital a series of questions on Wednesday and the hospital confirmed it is treating "fewer than 10 patients" that have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Many other hospitals across North Alabama hold regular press conferences about coronavirus numbers, ICU beds, etc but that's because those hospitals get public funding and legally need to release the information.
But North Alabama Medical Center does not need to answer a thing. WAAY 31 also asked the hospital on Wednesday if it's ICU units were full the hospital stressed the numbers of patients is fluid and always changing. The hospital said staff members monitor admissions and discharges regularly.
WAAY31 also asked the hospital if it has a plan if ICU beds get full. It said it's working with regional partners to ensure that their plans are well coordinated but wouldn't give any specifics on their plans. They don't have to because this is a private hospital.
Here is the hospitals full statement below:
"North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC) is currently treating fewer than ten patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. We defer to the Alabama Department of Public Health and our partners at the Lauderdale County Health Department to provide further reporting related to confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in our community."
"Hospital capacity is incredibly fluid and changes rapidly, particularly within individual departments, where temporary capacity issues are typically resolved by effectively monitoring and responding to patient admissions and discharges. At this time, our hospital has adequate capacity to meet patient needs, including in critical care/intensive care."
"We are monitoring the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in our community and working closely with regional partners to ensure we are well-coordinated in meeting the varied - and vital - health needs of our patients. It is safe to come to the hospital if you or a loved one needs care."