‘Things are not all well,’ in Madison County, hospital CEO says

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Madison County’s confirmed number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, and people need to get back to basics in order to reduce the spike, Crestwood Hospital’s CEO said Wednesday.

“If 80 percent of our community would mask, cover their faces, then we would reduce transmission by 90 percent,” Dr. Pam Hudson said at Wednesday’s county COVID-19 briefing. “If we’re not performing at that level … we’re going to continue to see this.”

Madison County recorded 66 new cases the day before, according to state health numbers.

Hudson said in Wednesday’s county COVID-19 briefing that hospitals already were busy with people who had delayed care, and that the number of people in quarantine after testing positive had seen a big jump – from about 500 last week to 847.

The reason, Hudson said, is because people are not following the basics that helped flatten the curve the first time. Masking and distancing can help reduce spread and keep hospital staff from becoming overwhelmed or facing supply issues.

“I’d like to suggest we think about this masking and distancing as a temporary vaccination, “Hudson said. “We are waiting for the scientists and the pharmaceutical companies to come up with a vaccine that works. It’s months away. Meanwhile we have to save ourselves for the day that we will have access to the vaccine.”

Madison Mayor Paul Finley also expressed support for people wearing masks in public, saying that police won’t be hunting people without masks to enforce the county masking order. Instead, they will take an educational approach and will have masks on hand for people.

Finley asked that citizens consider giving in on some things they may not necessarily agree with.

“We have a choice with our attitude,” Finley said. “And while not everybody is going to agree with everything that’s done, I think everybody can agree our goal is to get through this as quickly as we possibly can and get back to a normal life that allows us to focus on the things that make us happy.”

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