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DCH Coronavirus Update 12-11-20

DCH Coronavirus Update 12-11-20

A Little Help from Our Friends

In the past week the numbers of COVID-19 positive individuals who have needed inpatient care have significantly increased. This increase has put a substantial strain on the system.

The load has not been an easy one to shoulder, but the doctors, nurses, PCAs, respiratory therapists, Environmental Services employees and so many more have done an amazing job. At DCH we are so very proud of their efforts. If you know any of them, please reach out with some words of encouragement; they deserve them and need them.

As you might imagine, these high numbers have had a trickledown effect. One area where the impact is most visible to the public is in the emergency department. Wait times have increased and so have frustrations.

We need your help.

If your situation is not urgent, please consider visiting your primary care doctor or an urgent care. Additionally, if you feel you might have COVID-19 but your symptoms are not severe, then please visit our remote site for testing (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. – Noon) rather than coming to the Emergency Department. Of course, if you feel your situation is urgent, please don’t delay coming in. We will be here for you.

Finally, our main requests have not changed. Please wear a mask. Please avoid gatherings. Please socially distance and please wash your hands regularly. A little help will go a long way.

DCH to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

Yesterday a panel of experts voted to recommend that the FDA issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Moderna vaccine data review will occur on Dec. 17. With last night’s recommendation, it is likely the FDA will soon issue the Pfizer vaccine EUA.

Some of the initial COVID-19 vaccine options require an ultra-low temperature freezer for storage. Most places beyond a hospital do not have this sort of equipment, so the initial administration of the vaccine will primarily be centered around hospitals.

DCH Regional Medical Center has been selected by the Alabama Department of Public Health as one of the first facilities in Alabama to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

It may be a week or two from the time each EUA is granted to the time that vaccinations arrive on site. DCH will utilize prioritization recommendations from the CDC/ADPH for their administration. The first phase focuses on vaccinating front line healthcare staff and first responders.

DCH is planning to use its new 3,500 square-foot building for the administration of the vaccine. Due to its purpose-built construction, this building will allow drive through administration of vaccines in scheduled appointments to populations identified by the ADPH.

More details will be provided as they become available.

Testing and Confirmed Cases

To protect patient privacy, DCH has established a minimum threshold of five for reporting numbers of inpatients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DCH internal counts as of 3:00 p.m. on 12/11/20:

  • 151 inpatients are positive for COVID-19.
  • 30 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • 10 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 15 who are positive for COVID-19 are on a BiPAP.
  • 5,484 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 30,733 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 6,697 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 51,125 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 1,608 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 289 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died at DCH. This is not an indication of the cause of death, only that the individuals were positive for COVID-19 at the time of death.
  • 140 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).