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DCH Coronavirus Update 12-28-20

DCH Coronavirus Update 12-28-20

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health has defined the timing and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Currently we are still in phase 1a of the ADPH plan which can be viewed here: This plan is updated regularly.

Phase 1a is primarily for frontline health workers (inpatient and outpatient) and some first responders. Members of the public are not included in phase 1a. Phases 1b and 1c include some members of the public who are at higher risk. When ADPH moves to phase 1b, and DCH is prepared to begin administering the vaccine, then a notice will be sent out via social media, DCH’s website (, click on the gold/orange bar at the top that says “Coronavirus Updates”) and through the news media.

DCH encourages you to research the vaccine options and get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you. Here is information from ADPH on why you should consider the vaccine:

Both the Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. Many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. mRNA vaccines are new and take a completely different approach.

Following is a brief description from the CDC on how the new mRNA vaccines work.

“COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. … After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

“Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.

“At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.”

A few key facts from the CDC about these new vaccines include:

- The mRNA vaccine does not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID-19.

- An mRNA vaccine does not enter the nucleus of your cells (where your genetic material is kept), so it cannot affect or interact with your DNA in any way.

More information on the vaccines can be found on the CDC’s website at the links below:

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 4:28 p.m. on 12/28/20:

  • 171 inpatients within the DCH system who are positive for COVID-19.
  • 36 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • 20 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 19 who are positive for COVID-19 are on a BiPAP.
  • 6,534 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 32,417 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 7,900 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 55,555 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 1,970 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 343 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.
  • 155 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).