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DCH Coronavirus Update 7-15-20

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 3:20 p.m. on 7/15/20:

  • 84 inpatients are being treated for COVID-19.
  • 19 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • Nine who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 1,749 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 12,594 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 2,224 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 15,353 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 399 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 86 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.
  • 54 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).

Also included is a chart showing the percent positive among those tested at DCH locations. This chart reflects totals by the end of each day (except today).

New Observation Area

Managing room availability is a daily concern for hospitals in the best of times, but during the pandemic it has become increasingly important. As DCH has planned for possible influxes of patients, we have looked within our facilities for expansion space.

The Willard Auditorium was a large, open carpeted space with a small stage. It has been used for various meetings and much more. However, since it sits near a patient care area on the first floor of DCH Regional Medical Center, it became a prime target for expansion space.

Over the last month, the auditorium has been completely converted. The stage has been removed, flooring has been replaced, a nurses station has been installed and so much more. This week this new unit it is ready for up to 12 observation patients who are not suspected of having COVID-19 or have tested negative.

Observation patients are those whose need for inpatient care is still being determined. They may be admitted or, if doing well, discharged home. Usually patients are in observation for less than 48 hours.

Not only does this observation unit give the physician more time to better determine the level of care that may be needed, but it also frees up as many as 12 medical/surgical rooms and potentially reduces patient wait times. In a surge situation, this new resource could prove to be a critical component in managing volumes.

In the photo, Morgan (RN), Regina (RN) and Macy (PCA) work through the final preparations to open the new area.