ALABAMA — Alabama on Monday set a record of more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals as some facilities began to postpone non-emergency procedures amid staff shortages.
There were 2,079 patients in state hospitals with COVID-19 — the first time the number topped 2,000 since the pandemic began, according to state numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health. Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, said at least three hospitals have begun to postpone non-emergency procedures amid staff shortages.
“My real concern is I still don’t see anything to break the spread between now and getting through Christmas. That’s my real concern, and frankly I’m increasingly frustrated about why it is so difficult for individuals to be willing to wear masks,” Williamson said.
“The election’s over. It should no longer be political. People are dying, and we can do better than this.”
Williamson said staffing availability is a major concern. He said some facilities have as many as 100 staff members out with COVID-19.