Doctor warns Montgomery will have ‘explosion’ of COVID-19 cases

Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed says he doesn’t believe enough people are taking the COVID-19 seriously. His statements came during a news conference Wednesday afternoon attended by others, including a doctor who warned of the dire situation that’s looming.

“Far too many people are endangering themselves and this community,” Reed said, reminding residents the pandemic impacts first responders and healthcare providers.

Mayor Reed said he believes the curfew he imposed Friday is helping but said he’s considering all options regarding restrictive means to reduce transmission of the the respiratory virus.

He called the stakes “life or death,” and said residents have the ability to help increase or decrease what those numbers are, but added “we have to make sure we are not putting the health of others at risk because we are looking out for ourselves.”

Reed is calling on all citizens to be responsible and accountable. He said people will die in the Montgomery area who don’t have to die unless more people take more accountability for their actions.

Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean said first responders are up against a lot and he believes “things are about to get worse.” Those sentiments were echoed by Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley, who urged compliance with the state health order and Montgomery curfew. He said officers are trying to do their jobs, but are being put at risk by people ignoring the orders.

Dr. David Thrasher said the next 30 days will be really bad for Montgomery, predicting there will be an “explosion” of cases and that more efforts need to be made to flatten the curve.

Thrasher is a critical care physician who was previously the coroner or Montgomery County. He’s also been the chief of staff at Jackson Hospital and has been the director of respiratory care at multiple hospitals.

Thrasher pointed to seriousness of the illness, telling residents there are young people, old people, and even a pregnant woman all on ventilators in Montgomery.

Chairman Dean urged pastors to get involved because some are still trying to have traditional church services where dozens gather in one place. He’s urging ministers to encourage their parishioners to stay home.

Thrasher pointed to four churches he said were still having traditional services and called it “horrible” and added that, “I call myself a Christian, but close the churches now.”

Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone recommended everyone do the right thing because “we want to get back to normal, we have to make good decisions to make that happen.” He added, “look at what happens in places where they didn’t heed the call.”

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