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Hospitals could become overwhelmed if COVID-19 cases continue to climb

If the surge in cases continues, the Huntsville Hospital System says they will likely have to limit some elective procedures.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Madison County is continuing to see a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health says the spike we are seeing now could be contributed to Halloween celebrations and football games.

"I would urge that at this point in time we need to revisit our own individual activities. We need to revisit the activities of our families in order to try and stay as safe as possible," said Dr. Landers.

As cases climb, so do hospitalizations.

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Madison County leaders say we must take precautions as we celebrate the holidays.

"As an individual, you have control. Not only that, but I think you have a responsibility," said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. "We're used to tradition, but if you are playing the odds and you have any type of risk whatsoever, I think it's safe to say you need to focus on either you or your individual family and not stretch that out to others that could cause you pain down the road."

If we continue with this upward trend, the Huntsville Hospital System says they will likely have to limit some elective procedures, but they do not plan to completely stop right now.

"Elective surgery, people might think oh, does that mean cosmetic surgery or something of that nature. No, elective surgery is still important surgery," said Dr. Landers.

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While it's encouraging to see two potential COVID-19 vaccines with high efficacy rates. It will likely be well into 2021 until one is widely available.

"I don't know which one will be approved first or if both of them will be approved at the same time," said Dr. Landers. "We do not have that information until such time as the FDA grants a UA."

Once a vaccine is approved, it will be given in phases. Phase one includes health care workers, first responders, and people with the highest risk of COVID-19. Phase two will target other critical groups who were not vaccinated in phase one. Phase three will be for anyone else who wants to be vaccinated.

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