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DCH Coronavirus Update 12-21-20

DCH Coronavirus Update 12-21-20

A “Christmas Star”

Tonight is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. It also happens to be the night of a great conjunction – nicknamed the “Christmas Star” because of its occurrence so near the holiday.

A star is not actually involved in the event. In reality, it is an alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, but it will look like a very bright star. Jupiter and Saturn align every 20 years or so, but this is their closest alignment since 1623. At that time, the alignment would have only been visible from the Northern Hemisphere during the day. The last time this event was visible at night, in the Northern Hemisphere, was in the year 1226.

This conjunction is truly a rare event, and it will happen right after sunset. It provides the opportunity to not only see something special, but also to reflect upon those we have lost to COVID-19 or otherwise.

A proverb, often attributed to the Inuit people says:

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that they are happy.”

If you can, take a break, look to the southwestern horizon, enjoy a few moments of majesty and remember those you love.

Remote Site Testing and Vaccination Holiday Hours

DCH’s COVID-19 screening and testing and vaccination service at its remote site in the Laundry Lot just west of DCH Regional Medical Center will be closed next Thursday and Friday (December 24 and 25) for the Christmas holiday as well as Friday (January 1) of the following week for New Year’s. The following week the site will be back to its regular hours, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m.–Noon for testing and Monday through Friday, by appointment, for vaccinations.

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 Health System internal counts as of 3:40 p.m. on 12/21/20:

  • 170 inpatients within the DCH system who are positive for COVID-19.
  • 31 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • 9 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 22 who are positive for COVID-19 are on a BiPAP.
  • 6,153 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 31,814 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 7,467 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 53,945 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 1,825 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 24 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.
  • 147 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).