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Huntsville Hospital sees spike in COVID hospitalizations

Lack of vaccination, July 4, and the highly contagious delta variant are thought to be the reasons behind the spike.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Hospital Systems have seen a significant spike in covid-19 cases.

In fact, hospital officials says things are still just as serious as they were a year and a half ago. 

Why this is happening and how we can prevent another devastating COVID outbreak?  

Huntsville Hospital's parking garage is empty now, but if COVID-19 cases keep rising in Alabama, you may not be able to get in if beds keep filling up. 

Tracy Doughty, President & COO of Huntsville Hospital, says, "Yesterday we peaked at 42 patients in Madison County." 

Huntsville Hospital System has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and health officials say its a combination of things. 

Doughty says, "So, right now we're seeing a spike in our number of hospitalized patients."

The delta variant, the Fourth of July, and the lack of vaccinations could be to blame. Doughty explains, "You combine those three items and we're kind of where we expected we would be." 

Huntsville Hospital says things are still just as serious as they were a year and a half ago, and that as on July 21, they have 35 COVID patients with six in ICU.

Over the last few weeks, we've seen more and more cases of the delta variant in Alabama. Scientists say that it's far more contagious than you think. Doughty says, "We all know its about 10 times more infectious." 

What if I've gotten a COVID vaccine?

Once you're fully vaccinated, officials say you can stop wearing your mask. The concern is, only one third of Alabamians have gotten a vaccine shot. Huntsville Hospital says if that doesn't change, another wave could hit, and they're ready. 

Doughty says, "So, we're ready to meet the challenge if it arises. we hope it doesn't but we exercise, discuss, plan, implement  all the time. We're prepared, we meet everyday and discuss our numbers." 

Huntsville Hospital and the Alabama Department of Public Health are keeping a close watch on cases and other data.