STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'The lull before the storm:’ Athens-Limestone Hospital doctor warns of coronavirus surge

Athens-Limestone Hospital says they're prepared for the worst case scenario with the coronavirus, and that's if 30 to 40 percent of people in the county get it.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 8:02 PM

Gov. Kay Ivey's coronavirus task force includes one representative from here in North Alabama

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks tells WAAY 31 the task force has daily conversations about the constant changes and measures cities may have to take in the future.

"We're taking every precautions with all information at the city of Athens and the city council has given me some administrative powers much like what the governor has at the local level and i'm reviewing them every day with our staff with other people just to see and put the best practice in place," said Marks.

At a news conference in Limestone County on Thursday, city, county and hospital officials discussed an update on the measures they're taking to be ready for a potential surge in coronavirus cases in our area.

Officials from Athens-Limestone Hospital say they're ready for worst case scenario when it comes to the coronavirus.

And that worst case scenario means prepping for at least 30 percent to 40 percent of the county to get sick.

We asked those hospital officials if they're prepared for even more people to get the coronavirus in Limestone County than their biggest projection.

They told us they have in place certain measures like separating part of the hospital with coronavirus patients, potentially separating intensive care units, and stocking up on ventilators. This is only if there is a major spike in cases, more than what they anticipate.

Hospital officials also said there's a higher mortality rate than the flu and that's because our bodies are not immune to it.

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 12 confirmed coronavirus cases in Limestone County.

One doctor who has been researching the coronavirus from the start at Athens-Limestone Hospital, said we need to take the coronavirus seriously because of what it could do to our upper respiratory system.

"60 to 70 percent of the patients will show significant abnormalities on the cat scan. You will have ground glass appearance when you look at the picture of a person who is seriously ill and their oxygen saturation drops and we have to put them on mechanical ventilation and give the body time to recover," said Dr. Nauman Qureshi, who works at Athens-Limestone Hospital.

He also said, "this probably is the lull before the storm. The storm is still headed this way and we have to not use our sense of prepardness to become complacent and over confident."

So far the hospital has tested about 300 people. There currently are no confirmed coronavirus cases in the hospital and anyone who walks into this facility gets screened, even employees. That includes disclosing any current symptoms and taking your temperature.

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 60°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 60°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Decatur
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Fort Payne
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 65°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768946

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby866001472
Davidson80790841
Knox45241571
Hamilton39979454
Rutherford37906375
Williamson25011202
Sumner21166312
Montgomery17207207
Out of TN1667091
Wilson16194209
Unassigned15662125
Sullivan14169273
Blount13929178
Bradley12734138
Washington12671231
Maury12141159
Sevier11889161
Putnam10537168
Madison10049226
Robertson8886118
Hamblen7958161
Anderson7893155
Greene7258144
Tipton6896101
Coffee6264114
Gibson6168140
Dickson6148103
Cumberland6072117
Carter5926152
McMinn586289
Roane581795
Bedford5756117
Loudon563164
Jefferson5580116
Lawrence554681
Warren529875
Monroe526389
Dyer5222101
Hawkins518793
Franklin470684
Fayette463771
Obion435794
Rhea411773
Lincoln410561
Cocke396192
Marshall388354
Cheatham385743
Campbell378158
Weakley377559
Giles371095
Henderson361173
Carroll346881
Hardeman337663
Macon335073
White333965
Hardin329762
Lauderdale309342
Henry298975
Marion290244
Wayne286430
Scott285042
Overton283757
Claiborne273666
McNairy265051
Haywood264359
Hickman262840
DeKalb261548
Smith253336
Grainger240746
Trousdale237922
Morgan228537
Fentress228344
Johnson215038
Chester200647
Bledsoe198210
Crockett196946
Unicoi179347
Cannon173628
Polk173621
Union168930
Lake167326
Grundy166330
Sequatchie153927
Decatur153137
Humphreys151321
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125421
Jackson124834
Stewart123124
Clay106230
Perry102527
Houston102330
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events