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DCH Coronavirus Update 1-8-21

DCH Coronavirus Update 1-8-21

Vaccination Update

The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued two significant vaccination updates. First, on Wednesday of this week, ADPH released changes to its vaccination phasing. The revised current phase (1A) now includes all “clinical and non-clinical workers in hospitals.” Because of this, yesterday DCH began offering the vaccine to all Health System employees.

The updated phases can be found here:

Today ADPH announced it “will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for people 75 years or older, first responders, including law enforcement and firefighters, statewide by appointment only effective January 18.” If you fall within one of the groups identified, then you can schedule a vaccination appointment with ADPH by calling 1-855-566-5333.

Full details can be read in the ADPH release found here:

DCH is also working to offer vaccine appointments starting Jan. 18 for those newly identified groups. The process is being finalized, and details on how to register will be released next week.

Receiving the Vaccine

Based on the ADPH revision allowing all hospital workers to receive the vaccine, I (Andy North) decided to get the vaccine yesterday. Following are some thoughts on how it went.

Prior to receiving the vaccine (Pfizer in this case), I read the FDA materials as well as the experiences of others. The FDA fact sheet on the Pfizer vaccine can be found here: For me, the known risks associated with the vaccine appeared to be minor compared to actually being infected with COVID-19.

At the employee vaccine site I was provided with forms to read and fill out. One of the forms was a checklist to try to make sure I would not be at a higher risk for an allergic reaction. After those were reviewed and signed, I was sent to a nurse who asked me similar screening questions.

The vaccine was administered via injection (FYI, the needle was small) into the muscles of my left shoulder. It was quick and nearly painless.

After I received the vaccine, I waited in an area (socially distanced) where a nurse monitored several of us at a time for 15 minutes. I had no symptoms during that time.

Within about an hour, the muscles near the injection site became sore (which always happens to me with the flu shot as well), and I started to have a mild headache. Both the muscle soreness and the headache persisted until I went to bed.

Today the headache is gone, and the muscle soreness at the injection site has lessened but is still there. I have had no other symptoms.

I will receive the second dose at the end of the month and will provide an update then as well.

Flowers at Northport

Today Bloomin’ Idiots Flowers in Northport delivered 75 amaryllis to Northport Medical Center for employees to enjoy while they worked. Thank you, Bloomin’ Idiots Flowers. We appreciate the ray of sunshine on this cold day!

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 3:47 p.m. on 1/8/20:

  • 168 inpatients within the DCH system who are positive for COVID-19.
  • 40 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • 15 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 25 who are positive for COVID-19 are on a BiPAP.
  • We are conducting some maintenance to the feed for unique positive and negative tests for COVID-19 so that chart and those numbers are not included today.
  • 7,302 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 33,512 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 8,791 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 58,524 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 2,213 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 389 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.
  • 183 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).