HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thursday afternoon, Governor Kay Ivey extended the statewide mask order until early March. The decision reflects the surge in COVID-19 cases that the state has dealt with in the post-holiday season.
At her news conference Thursday afternoon Gov. Ivey said, “After the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, COVID-19 numbers and the number of hospitalizations were higher than ever. More than our highest point from last summer. At one point last week, of the 1,600 ICU beds in our state, 1,561 were occupied.”
But there are growing signs that the tremendous burden on Alabama hospitals and caregivers is starting to ease up.
“As of Wednesday, our 7-day average for the new COVID-19 cases, was 2,666 per day, that’s far below the spike in cases recorded earlier this month following Christmas, but way above averages recorded 2-3 and even 4 months ago,” Gov. Ivey stated.
Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said they are also seeing a decline in hospital staff having to quarantine, “Again, I don’t want to get too excited, because it could all change tomorrow, but right now, we’re all trending in a good direction.”
Statewide, hospitalizations hit a record on Jan. 11, with 3,084 patients, that number today is down 20% to 2,478.
The Huntsville Hospital System has seen an even larger drop, its COVID-19 patient numbers are down 26% to 365, in the past 10 days.
The Huntsville Hospital system updates their case numbers multiple times a week.