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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As Labor Day weekend approaches, local officials said they hope people will continue to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so that numbers will continue to drop.

Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said in Wednesday’s county briefing that he is optimistic that most people will do the right thing.

“I think a lot of people realize that something we’ve been doing in the past few weeks is making a difference,” Spillers said. “And the only thing we really changed was I think we closed some locations earlier at night, we asked people to wear a mask and we kept reinforcing staying away from people. That’s all we’ve really got to fight this right now.”

Huntsville Hospital Health System had 119 hospitalizations Wednesday due to COVID-19 across North Alabama, Spillers said. About 67 of those were at Huntsville Hospital.

“The rest of the region’s coming down a little quicker than we are,” he said. “We hope the positive trend in Madison County will continue over the next couple of weeks.”

Spillers also said the number of people on ventilators was down, and demand for testing in Madison County continues to be low. He encouraged people to continue sanitizing, social distancing and wearing a mask — which he stressed should also cover the nose.

“We see a lot of people out there masking, it’s gotten hot and they pull it below their nose,” he said. “That really doesn’t count.”

City Administrator John Hamilton also said city officials were optimistic about the numbers decreasing, and he encouraged people to go out to gyms and businesses in a safe manner.

“All the things that we like to do are available to us in one form or another, and we encourage people to do those things,” Hamilton said. “Pursue your physical fitness activities, do the things that you enjoy doing. But do it the right way.”