Huntsville Hospital system has record number of COVID-19 patients, but CEO says it’s still manageable
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville Hospital’s CEO said Monday the hospital system had more current COVID-19 hospitalizations than it has had at any point since the pandemic started.

Despite having a record number, David Spillers said facilities are still able to handle the number of patients and were not being taxed.

Spillers said 35 people were hospitalized Monday in their hospitals across the region. The biggest reason for the high number was Decatur, where 19 people were hospitalized.

“It is the highest number of inpatients any of our hospitals have had to date,” Spillers said. “However, they’re managing it very well.”

Of those, eight were in intensive care and five of those were on ventilators, he said.

Eight people were hospitalized in Madison County, four in Colbert County and four in Marshall, Spillers said.

The increase in Decatur does not have a root cause that has been determined, Spillers said, unlike spikes caused by a chicken plant in Marshall County or a nursing home outbreak in Franklin County.

But Spillers said even though the load has increased in Decatur, the spike across the system is still being handled by each individual hospital.

“Our system’s capable of flexing up or down as needed to take care of a lot of patients,” he said.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the city continues to look at the high number of positive cases in counties surrounding Madison County. He said people are feeling fatigued by staying isolated, but they are taking it seriously, and that helps. He said local people appeared to be careful even while protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, by staying safe during protests.

“A good many people are wearing masks at those, and that is very good,” Battle said. “We would never stop your right to assemble, but we would say do so carefully.”

He said with the recent protests and fatigue of staying apart, city officials continuing to do what they can to make each day better as a city.

“We’ve got to make sure that as we look ahead that we’re representing everybody out there,” Battle said. “And as we represent them, that we do it in such a way that we’re making for a better place tomorrow than we had today.”

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