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“Unpleasant” cause driving Alabama’s decline in COVID hospitalizations

Right now Alabama, is seeing a daily decrease in hospitalizations, but is forced to face an “unpleasant” reality.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Alabama hospitals remain strained on resources and have exhausted health care workers. There is a possibility Alabama could be on the downtrend of the Delta variant, but Dr. Sarah Nafziger with UAB said that is a million-dollar question.

“The models I have seen would suggest that we have peaked and we are on the good side of it,” Dr. Nafziger said. But the unknown lingers.

Dr. Nafziger said it is not time to put the masks away. Numbers are declining, but remain high. The effect of the new pediatric positive cases could lead to the possibility of spreading the virus to children’s parents and guardians and potentially lead to a second peak of the Delta variant.

“And so we just don’t know yet, I wish we did but there are a lot of unknowns out there at this time,” Dr. Nafziger said.

Right now Alabama is seeing a daily decrease in hospitalizations but is forced to face the “unpleasant” reality behind the decreasing hospitalization rates.

Dr. Nafziger said the number of new COVID cases has dropped off, leading to fewer hospitalizations. Also leading to the decrease in COVID hospitalizations have been COVID deaths.

“Hospitals... we don’t like to talk about when we have patients who die,” Dr. Nafziger said. “But, unfortunately, patients are dying from COVID in our hospitals despite our best efforts.”

Dr. Nafziger said Alabama health care workers are exhausted.

“Caring for wave after wave of patients who are critically ill with COVID-19, especially when we know that the large part of what we are seeing right now is completely preventable,” Dr. Nafziger said.

She said the impact this variant made on hospitals is like no other.

“The thing that was different about this surge was how quickly we accelerated. Just the rapid rise in new cases was much more of a steep incline than we saw with previous surges, and that was in the face of a healthcare community that was already exhausted,” Dr. Nafziger said.

And health care workers feel ignored.

“I think a lot of the healthcare workers really feel like the rest of the world is going on like normal while we are continuing to suffer, and I really hate that,” Dr. Nafziger said.

Dr. Nafziger encourages Alabama to be safe, by getting the vaccine, wearing a mask and social distancing to put this pandemic behind us.

“If we do the things we’ve learned to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves safe, we can make it safer for all of us to get on with our lives and do our daily activities,” Dr. Nafziger said. “So, the simple masking and getting people vaccinated are really the things that make a big difference.”

Click here to see where COVID vaccines are available in Alabama.

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