HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Alabama’s daily count of COVID-cases have been heading upward recently. And the number of people hospitalized with the disease is up too. So, what’s going on, and should we be concerned here in the Valley?
Our Sydney Stallworth sat with an infectious disease expert to get his take on things.
We met with Dr. Ali Hassoun, an Infectious Disease Expert affiliated with Huntsville Hospital system. He tells our reporter, “The numbers have been steady. But, the last few days, it’s actually creeping up more now."
Alabama’s COVID hospitalizations have risen by over 200 people in the past month. Dr. Ali Hassoun says over the past few days, Huntsville Hospital has started to see a similar trend locally. He adds, “... your usual steady runs with the flat line in the ‘40 or 45’. Now it’s at 50 or something like that. So, we’re definitely seeing an increase in hospitalizations and at the same time-- we’re seeing ICU patients.”
Dr. Hassoun says the hospital is keeping a close eye on the rising number of in-patients. He explains healthcare workers need to monitor this situation very closely, adding, “For us, this is not a good sign. For us, it is definitely concerning because this means, with that, much more patients are going to come in.
Dr. Hassoun tells us, an increase in the number of cases, statewide and in the Valley is expected by health experts during this time of the year. As the temperatures drop, more people are spending time inside and in closer contact. He warns, “The risk of transmission in the next few months is going to go up significantly in comparison to the summer months. Because, in the summer months, we were more outdoors-- even though June and July were very problematic.”
We can all do our part in making sure the spread doesn’t get out of hand. Like keeping your masks on and remembering hand hygiene. Even if you’re tired of it!
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Dr. Hassoun says, “I’m hoping, by the end of the year or early next year when we get the vaccine and as the weather changes, we might see some ‘turning of the corner’. But, at the moment, it looks like if we don’t follow the prevention guidelines. We’re probably going to see significant increase.”
Dr. Hassoun tells our reporter one thing to remember as temperatures drop and the holidays approach. He says it's incredibly important to avoid what he calls “The Big C’s” -- crowding, close contact and close spaces.