Decline in COVID hospitalizations has grim underlining

Despite the overall hospitalization trend downward, the head of Alabama’s Hospital Association...
Despite the overall hospitalization trend downward, the head of Alabama’s Hospital Association says ICU numbers continue to worry him.(WBRC)
Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 10:47 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hospitalizations were drastically down across Alabama by the end of January as the state moved past the holiday surge, but the good news had grim underlining.

Head of the Alabama hospital association, Dr. Don Williamson said the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations was due to several factors: some good, others bad.

“Number one, it’s a combination of fewer people being admitted,” Williamson explained.

New cases were down dramatically from mid-January which meant less demand for hospital beds.

“We’re getting about 250 to 260 [cases] a day. That’s down dramatically from the 400 we were seeing earlier in January,” Williamson added.

Secondly, according to Williamson, early treatments like antibody infusions were reported to keep hundreds of people from getting extremely sick and needing hospitalization.

“Now, I do think there are, unfortunately, some other factors and one of those factors is that we have seen a dramatic increase in deaths over the last three weeks,” Williamson said.

On Tuesday, 200 new deaths were reported, according to Williamson.

“Excluding the weekend, we had days last week with 200 [and] one day 270. So, clearly one of the things we are seeing is that some of the patients who got infected before Christmas were in the hospital for an extended period of time and unfortunately, some of them didn’t make it,” Williamson said.

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