Tag: health care
UAB epidemiologist Dr. Rachael Lee today said that Alabamians will have to exercise personal responsibility to keep the state’s increasing COVID-19 infections from overwhelming the health care system.
Lee said that the increasing number of positive cases is “concerning,” particularly as the state increasingly relaxes restrictions and as the number of tests administered remains steady. Alabama is one of several states being watched because the number of confirmed positive cases of the potentially deadly viral infection are going up.
Lee held UAB’s weekly coronavirus press conference the day after the largest single day increase in coronavirus cases in the state. She addressed a wide range of questions during the more than 45-minute-long press conference, dealing largely with the spike in cases, hospitals’ nearing capacity in some areas, how the coronavirus differs from the flu, remdesivir, the feared second wave and the ongoing need for personal protective measures. Read more.
Gov. Kay Ivey has once again loosened restrictions on Alabama businesses, allowing the reopening of entertainment venues, child care facilities, student activities and educational institutions. Ivey’s “Amended Safer at Home” order, issued Thursday afternoon, will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.
At a press conference announcing the order, Ivey cited economic stressors, such as a spike in unemployment, as a reason for easing restrictions.
She added: “You’ve got to have a balance between looking after the people’s health and the economic health. There has to be a balance.”
Alabama hospitals lost about $739 million in revenue from mid-March to the end of April because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to data collected by the Alabama Hospital Association.
The state’s 93 acute care hospitals had $101 million in COVID-related expenses, including personal protection equipment, in the seven-week period.
“Obviously, that’s not sustainable,” Alabama Hospital Association President and CEO Dr. Don Williamson told Alabama Daily News. He previously served as Alabama’s state health officer.
A recent survey by the Alabama Nursing Association shows that nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle have been concerned about a lack of personal protection equipment, their own health, taking the virus home to their families and having the needed time to spend with patients isolated from their loved ones.
Others, furloughed by public health orders that stopped elective surgeries and procedures, worried about paying their bills and even their own health insurance. Read more.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Southern Research of Birmingham will be part of an international program that will try to identify existing drugs that may be effective in treating people exposed to COVID-19.
The effort, coordinated by Scripps Research of La Jolla, California, involves ReFRAME, a large collection of drugs developed for other diseases and known to be safe for humans, UAB said today.
An Alabama National Guard team was disinfecting at the Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home this morning as part of a mission to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus at nursing homes around the state.
The team, part of a special Guard task force, arrived in a white bus at the Pell City-based facility, one of four state veterans homes in Alabama. The Howard facility has 246 residents and 346 employees.
LOCATION UPDATED — UAB will provide testing for COVID-19 in two community locations this week, offering the tests for people who cannot or don’t want to go to its downtown testing site, officials said today.
A mobile testing unit will go to Rock City at Central Park in the western area of Birmingham on Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. and to Cathedral of the Cross in Center Point on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. They will see people who have made appointments by calling 205-975-CV19 (2819). Participants must drive up to the mobile facility this week, but walk-up appointments are expected to start as early as next week. Read more.
In Alabama, COVID-19 is taking a significantly greater toll on black residents than on whites and the population in general, with a higher rate of disease incidence and a higher rate of fatalities as a result.
And what’s happening here reflects what’s happening all over the country, as acknowledged by a growing chorus of medical experts who are pointing out that COVID-19 is having a pronounced impact on the black community compared to the population in general.
For many people this revelation comes as a shock. Not so for Dr. Mona Fouad, director of the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, who has developed years of research telling her to expect this pandemic to hit black communities harder.
As evidence mounts that black Americans are feeling a disproportionate weight of the coronavirus pandemic, some are unaware of an ironic rumor that has now been debunked.
That rumor held that black people were immune or more resistant to COVID-19.
Citylab.com characterized the rumor as an attempt at humor, with the March 14 headline, “Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People are Immune to Coronavirus.”
But the rumor persists. According to the newspaper The Baltimore Sun, as recently as April 14, “Baltimore officials are planning a targeted ad campaign to reach the city’s black residents in hopes of combating rumors that black people cannot get the new coronavirus, the city’s health commissioner announced Tuesday.”
Prior to March and the COVID-19 outbreak in Alabama, Dr. Beverly Jordan’s medical practice in Enterprise did not conduct online telemedicine visits with patients.
But in a recent week, Professional Medical Associates conducted 30 remote visits with patients who either suspected they had COVID-19 or have pre-existing conditions and were trying to avoid the virus by staying home.
“This outbreak has clearly pushed telemedicine in this state,” Jordan said.