Hospitals, Madison County government still open for business


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Officials gave an update on Madison County’s response to COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.

Crestwood Medical Center CEO Dr. Pam Hudson:

Crestwood Medical Center CEO Pam Hudson said Crestwood and Huntsville Hospital are seeing the same volume of patients, with only 30 either testing positive or being under investigation for coronavirus.

She added across both hospitals, 13 people have been discharged to home and sent to self-quarantine.

Hudson said supplies were good and gave guidelines on when and how to wear a mask.

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong:

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong encouraged everybody to continue social distancing, washing hands with either sanitizer or hot water and soap, and not let their guard down

Strong said Madison County now has the fourth-highest number of cases in the state, down from second highest days ago.

Q&A Session:

One reporter asked what technology is being used to track cell phones for travel data. Madison County EMA Director Jeff Birdwell said no local officials are tracking phones, saying the tracking data was being obtained by the state government.

When will we have supplies to test those who want to be tested?

Hudson said testing would continue being limited to those with symptoms, saying mass testing was only occurring in hotspots.

Birdwell added any information regarding positive cases in nursing homes would need to come from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Strong said while the county has spent money on unusual items, such as $36,500 for N95 masks, the county budget remains strong and he believes the national and local economy will recover faster than ever.

Money for local government and hospitals in relief bill

Strong said most of the money in the relief bill passed by the federal government will go directly to the people, but the county will likely get some form of partial reimbursement.

Hudson added she sees some help for hospitals in the bill, but is not sure how much of the hospital’s costs would be offset.

Hudson said while there are national shortages of ventilator drugs, stopping elective surgeries helped make those drugs and substitutes available.

Strong added there are 400 ventilators available in the county and that they have enough of the drugs in stock to help local hospitals, adding there are ongoing conversations about keeping all of north Alabama supplied.

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