Category: Coronavirus

COVID Hospitalizations Hit Record High as Case Numbers Rise

The number of COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals has shot to a record level with the resurgence of the disease across the state, prompting a UAB doctor to warn people against playing “Russian roulette” with their response to the pandemic.

There were 1,717 patients in 104 hospitals across the state Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported. That eclipsed the previous high of 1,613 patients on Aug. 6. Read more.

COVID-19 Sets Records on the Eve of Thanksgiving

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Alabama have reached critical levels again, straining health care facilities and throwing Thanksgiving holiday plans into disarray.

In the weekly BirminghamWatch analysis of data supplied by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the moving averages of both new cases and of COVID-related deaths have hit new all-time highs in the past two days, and the number of hospital beds filled with coronavirus patients is quickly approaching the levels seen during the peak this summer. Read more.

Religious Groups Working Around Pandemic to Celebrate Holidays and Tend to Flock This Year

Religious communities are exploring new ways of observing religious holidays, as well as for presenting their regular weekly services, this year as the coronavirus pandemic resurges across the nation.

Religious groups in Birmingham and across Alabama turned to Facebook, YouTube, Zoom and their own websites earlier this year when COVID-19 spread across the state. The recent rise in the number of cases of the disease has prolonged the use of those alternate methods of worship and has led to innovative ways of celebrating religious holidays. Read more.

Health Experts: Scale Back Thanksgiving Plans To Avoid COVID-19

Dr. Michael Saag with the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases said at a Friday press conference that Alabama residents should treat the fight against COVID-19 like it’s a real war.

“We’re on a tour of duty right now, and we know our tour of duty ends by Thanksgiving next year. So what can we do to stay as healthy and, frankly, stay alive and survive this tour of duty and get home safe?” Saag asked.

Jefferson County, like much of the state, is seeing a “staggering” number of new COVID-19 cases, said Saag. Health experts say the county is averaging more than 300 new cases each day; that’s three times the daily rate from September. Since March, Jefferson County has recorded about 30,000 cases and nearly 500 deaths related to the virus.
Read more.

Hospitalized for Months: One Man’s Fight Against COVID-19

Since March, more than 22,000 Alabamians have been hospitalized with COVID-19, some requiring months of inpatient care.

Victor Perea, 38, has been fighting the virus for almost three months at UAB Hospital. His wife, Magaly Cordova, said the diagnosis came as a shock. Before this illness, she said, Perea didn’t have any pre-existing conditions. “He was healthy,” Cordova said. “He was a gym guy – you know, eating healthy, go to the gym every day – and really careful about this virus.”

Perea, who lives in Homewood, recently had gotten a new job installing IT systems. He found out he had COVID-19 in early September, after a co-worker tested positive for the virus.

He’s been in the hospital at UAB for three months, and remains in the Pulmonary Intensive Care Unit, and is slowly showing signs of improvement.
Read more.

Football Programs Take a Big Hit from COVID-19

Football players at all levels are used to battles against their on-field opponents, who are easy to see though difficult to defend against.

But the toughest opponent many teams have ever faced can’t be seen without a microscope. Yet it has the ability to make players very sick — and cripple entire programs.

The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc on players and on high schools, colleges and professional teams, as well as the organizations that govern the sport. It’s also hurt countless others with ties to the game, from high school band boosters who sell food at home games to hotel and restaurant owners who cater to major college and pro fans on weekends.
Read more.

Sharp Rise in Alabama COVID-19 Numbers Causing Alarm

With the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 up by almost half and the number of deaths reported each day up by more than 80% in two weeks’ time, the concern over a so-called “second wave” of infections is increasing. In this week’s BirminghamWatch analysis of coronavirus data, all numbers have taken a sharp turn for the worse. The 7-day average of daily new cases jumped from 1,438.71 two weeks ago to 2,121.29 on Wednesday, an increase of 48.3% and the highest level since the pandemic began. Read more.

Jones Pleads With Public to Follow COVID Safety Guidelines as Cases, Deaths Increase

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones on Wednesday urged people to listen to health care officials’ advice on the coronavirus, not the opinions of politicians.

“We have now seen another surge in cases,” Jones said during a press conference with UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo. “You will all recall that beginning last April, I kept admonishing folks, ‘Please, please listen to our health care professionals. Do not listen to politicians. Do not listen to anyone other than our health care professionals.’

“What we’ve seen come to pass is exactly what our health care professionals have said,” Jones continued. “As we get into the colder months, as we get into the winter, as people let their guard down and get a little COVID fatigue, we are going to see a rise in cases, and we are seeing a dangerous rise in cases at this point, more than we anticipated and more than we even saw in the summer.” Read more.