Huntsville Hospital Health System has largest number of COVID patients since start of pandemic

Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 10:27 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - More COVID-19 patients are in Alabama hospitals than ever before.

Huntsville Hospital has its most COVID patients right now since the beginning of the pandemic.
Huntsville Hospital has its most COVID patients right now since the beginning of the pandemic.(WAFF)

The same goes for hospitals in north Alabama.

Meanwhile, the uphill battle continues for those fighting the pandemic on the frontlines.

Regina Andrews is a charge nurse in one of the COVID units at Huntsville Hospital.

She says right now, every single bed in all the COVID units are full, and she’s not expecting that to change anytime soon.

A record setting 302 COVID-19 patients are currently being treated in the Huntsville Hospital System; 110 at Huntsville Hospital and 30 at Madison Hospital.

“It’s been one of the most heartbreaking things that I have ever done in the 38 years of nursing,” Andrews said.

Andrews says she has never seen so many people sick at once.

“People that think that it’s not for real, that it’s going to go away after the election. They don’t know what it’s like. I would like for them to be able to come walk a day in our shoes and just see what’s going on. I mean people are really dying,” she said.

Andrews says a patient can worsen to where they need a ventilator quickly.

“Just all of a sudden it can go real bad to where the patient cant breathe.”

Unlike some area hospitals, Andrews tells us none of the nurses in her unit have contracted the virus at work.

“We wear two masks. We wear the N95 mask, we wear the surgical mask, we wear a gown, we wear a shield and a hair bonnet. In every room that we go into. None of us have gotten the virus,” she explained.

Huntsville Hospital, like other medical facilities nationwide, are expecting a spike from the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Our unit is a 21 bed all private unit and we stay full everyday,” Andrews said.

So what will happen when that spike does hit?

“We will continue to revert units to COVID units that aren’t currently and stop other services to accommodate those patients,” Tracy Doughty, senior vice president of operations said.

Doughty says you will be a huge help by masking up.

“Masks aren’t a political statement, they’re a statement of we’re trying to protect the community,” he said.

And Andrew’s request: “Pray for all the nurses, keep us in your prayers. We need it.”

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