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Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations decline but pandemic still ongoing

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 5:56 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:46 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama is finally seeing a plateau in the pandemic as hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been consistently lower for weeks now. Months ago there were a negative number of ICU beds available, marking a historic first for the state. Now, Alabama is seeing a daily average of about 300 COVID-19 patients.

Danne Howard with the Alabama Hospital Association says even though hospitals still have COVID cases to treat, the biggest change she’s seen from the peak of the Delta variant in September to now is staff being under less stress.

“When you think about those higher volumes, when you literally have to put on a spacesuit kind of, of protective equipment with COVID patients, and so it is much it’s more of a normal health care delivery environment rather than always on edge,” she explained.

Looking toward the holiday season, Howard says there’s no indication of what hospitalization numbers will look like.

“We are not over COVID yet,” she said. “I don’t know what the next few months look like, but certainly, when we get into the holidays and colder weather where people move indoors more often, you know, we’re being ever mindful and watchful about that.”

Howard emphasized that being vaccinated for COVID-19 and handwashing, masks, and social distancing are still the most effective ways to stay healthy.

As of Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed more than 16,000 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic was first confirmed in the state back in March of 2020,

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