HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise at a rapid rate. Alongside those numbers, hospitalizations in Madison County are also skyrocketing. Health officials said this trend is estimated to continue until at least mid-January.

Officials with the city of Huntsville held an update regarding the latest information surrounding COVID-19 in the Huntsville area and the state.

Jeff Birdwell, Huntsville-Madison County EMA Director spoke at the meeting along with Jeff Samz, Huntsville Hospital CEO and Dr. Ric Koler, Crestwood Medical Center ER Physician.

Huntsville-Madison County EMA Director Jeff Birdwell began the meeting with the latest COVID-19 numbers. There have been 932,250 cases of COVID-19 in the state of Alabama. 60,408 of those cases were in Madison County, resulting in 755 deaths during the pandemic. Madison County’s case positivity rate has risen to 36.7%.

Huntsville Hospital CEO Jeff Samz gave the Huntsville Hospital Health System numbers. In Madison County, there are currently 116 COVID-19 inpatients, with 18 patients in the ICU and 9 of those people on a ventilator.

The full briefing can be watched below:

“The number of COVID cases in the community has just skyrocketed,” said Samz during the briefing. “Clearly Omicron is less likely to cause hospitalization, but there are so many cases we are continuing to see the hospital census rise rapidly. The patients that are in the hospital are very sick.”