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DCH Coronavirus Update 7-29-21

DCH Coronavirus Update 7-29-21

DCH Addresses COVID Situation and Needs

DCH held a press conference today at 11 a.m. Below are key messages that were shared.

In the last 10 days the COVID-19 numbers at DCH have jumped dramatically. These increases are consistent with what other areas are seeing across the country, especially areas with low vaccination rates.

On July 16, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky indicated that 99.5 percent of recent U.S. deaths from COVID-19 were of unvaccinated people and 97 percent of current COVID hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people. We have seen similar numbers at DCH. The key learning from this is COVID-19 vaccines are keeping people from getting critically ill or dying; they are working.

Tuscaloosa’s rate of individuals being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is about 31 percent. In Alabama 34 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. Younger groups are apparently not as invulnerable as they thought and we are seeing more and more inpatient cases among those who are 25-49. That group has the highest positivity rate when tested. We are all falling short in the fight against COVID-19, yet with the vaccine the strain on our health care system and community is largely avoidable.

Additionally, we have been facing a nationwide nursing shortage for many years. For many months during the pandemic DCH had access to federal funding to bring in travel nurses to help fill the need. That funding came with a time limit and has been used up. With low vaccination rates, DCH is seeing the number of patients with COVID requiring hospitalization increasing daily. That has increased the overall hospital census significantly.

The purpose of the press conference is to share some of the above details and ask for two key things. First, we have decided to keep our vaccination site open and are again asking community members to get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same. Second, we are asking registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in the community to come work with us and are offering community RNs short term work agreements where they can work a few extra shifts as their schedules permit. Community RNs who can help, and wish to find out more, can call 205-333-4772.

COVID-19 Information

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 3:02 p.m. on 7/29/21:

  • 68 inpatients within the DCH system who are positive for COVID-19.
  • 19 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • Five or fewer inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • Five or fewer who are positive for COVID-19 are on a BiPAP.
  • 9,169 (cumulative) unique positives for COVID-19 tests including results from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 46,386 (cumulative) unique negatives for COVID-19 at DCH sites.
  • 11,138 (cumulative) positive COVID-19 at DCH sites. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 90,611 (cumulative) negative tests at DCH sites.
  • 3,223 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 560 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.
  • 315 Tuscaloosa County residents (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died (per the Alabama Department of Public Health).