'This is worse than I had anticipated:' Coronavirus spike worries Huntsville Hospital leader

The state is averaging about 1,000 new cases a day. The hospital CEO discussed what he thinks needs to happen to get the virus under control.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 8:19 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2020 7:09 AM

Huntsville Hospital talked to WAAY 31 about the consistent rise in coronavirus patients the past two weeks.

David Spillers, Hospital CEO, said he is growing concerned about the rise. Numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health show the state’s averaging about 1,000 new cases a day over the past week.

"This is worse than I had anticipated. I guess I think I did not anticipate people would totally disregard social distancing and the things that had kept us from being a hotpot in the state and around the country," he said.

Spillers explained that disregard since the state re-opened is putting everyone in danger.

"There are 167 people in our hospitals that are really, really sick. A small percentage of people are never going to make it. If we didn't have COVID probably [they] wouldn't even be in the hospital," he said.

Of those 167 coronavirus patients in the hospital system, Spillers said 91 of them are in Madison County. With more than a thousand patients at hospitals across the state, Spillers said it's time for Gov. Kay Ivey to take action.

"I see no reason the entire state is not wearing a mask, and I understand a lot of people don't support that. [There is] very little evidence, virtually no evidence that it hurts you. A lot of evidence that it helps and it's a very easy thing to do, so that's the first thing I would do as the governor, I'd do statewide masking," he said.

Madison County started mandatory masking Tuesday. WAAY 31 asked Spillers what’s next if that doesn’t do enough to flatten the coronavirus curve.

"I think the next step if this doesn't work, we, I mean the state, is going to have to have to look at whether they allow close contact organizations and businesses to remain open," he said.

He explained what kind of businesses he's talking about.

"I would lean more towards places where people are congregating in large groups, talking, drinking, those types of things. Night clubs, bars, those types of things. Anything where those people are in close contact, are not masking, those are the situations where this is most likely to be spread," he said.

He had this message for anyone who isn't taking the health order seriously.

"It's spreading because a lot of people aren't taking it seriously. I wish they would. I don't know how to get people's attention. I think when we cancel college football season it will get people's attention," he added.

Spillers said he hopes canceling college football isn't what it comes down to. He explained if people get serious and social distance, wear their mask and sanitize he thinks we still have an opportunity to turn this around.

51° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 51°
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 54°
51° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 51°
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 50°
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 49°
WAAY Radar
WAAY Temperatures


Community Events