Health Officials Fear Virus Surge After July 4 Celebrations


Alabama hit a new high for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 this week and a new low for the number of available intensive care unit beds.

Dr. Don Williamson, a former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, said that as of Thursday, the state had 840 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and that 84% of the state’s ICU beds were full, the highest number since the pandemic began.

“I’m really, really worried about the Fourth of July. I think that will likely determine the trend for Alabama for the rest of the summer,” Williamson said.

Williamson said hospitals are managing but that the trends are concerning.

Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who also had COVID-19, said large gatherings are “havens” for the virus to spread.

“We are seeing such numbers coming at us that it’s hard to deny the truth that it’s here and it’s getting worse,” Saag said

“My hope is people are waking up to the fact that this is not a fun and games exercise and that this is serious business.”

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Categories: Coronavirus, Montgomery, News