New COVID-19 cases at DCH double over last six days

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CW / Hannah Saad

When it comes to quelling coronavirus, Alabama isn’t out of the woods yet. Tuscaloosa County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased more than 10% on May 25, the largest single-day increase. 

May started with 211 confirmed cases in the county. Now, this number has more than doubled. With 3.7% of statewide cases, Tuscaloosa isn’t much of an outlier  – it’s case count is proportional to its population. In places like Mobile or Jefferson County, however, the numbers are much higher.

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated at DCH has more than doubled from May 20 to May 26, increasing from 32 patients to 74, according to the DCH website

  • 20 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU.
  • 10 who are positive for COVID-19 are on ventilators.
  • 576 (cumulative) have tested positive for COVID-19 including individuals from the ED, triage tent and inpatient. These individuals are not necessarily in the hospital.
  • 6,783 (cumulative) have tested negative at DCH sites.
  • 106 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 30 inpatients (cumulative) who were positive for COVID-19 have died at DCH.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox addressed the rise in COVID-19 cases, saying that the Tuscaloosa community should be alarmed. He encouraged Tuscaloosa residents to continue to practice social distancing and to monitor the communities that have had success in limiting the spread of the virus.  

“We are going to continue to monitor these numbers,” Maddox said. “But  if we feel like our healthcare system is placed in jeopardy, make no mistake. We will act.”

The statewide confirmed case count has surpassed 15,000 with almost a third of these cases arising in the last two weeks. A third of Alabama’s total tests were administered during this time frame. Tuscaloosa’s number of tests administered is the fourth highest statewide with six testing sites available. 

In the midst of this spike, Governor Kay Ivey amended the statewide Safer at Home Order effective May 22 following the expiration of the Stay at Home Order on April 30. The current order will expire July 3. 

The statewide death count reached 566 on May 26. The Alabama Department of Public Health lists 12 deaths in Tuscaloosa County. The DCH Health System, with locations in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette, said 29 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.