COVID-19 numbers across the Shoals still at all-time high

Record number of hospitalizations at Helen Keller Hospital

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Helen Keller hospital in Sheffield and North Alabama Medical Center are treating a record number of COVID-19 patients. The increase in hospitalizations comes as positive case results rise in surrounding counties.

More than 1,000 cases have been confirmed in Lauderdale County within the last two weeks and another 625 in Colbert County.

“We have a limited way to battle this and that is with individual behavior and even with doing your very best with all the mitigation standards because of the high level of community transmission we’re still going to have COVID,” said Dr. Karen Landers.

Employees at hospitals like Helen Keller in Sheffield and North Alabama Medical Center are now dealing with the high transmission rate and record-breaking numbers.

NAMC currently has more than 70 COVID patients. Because of the rapid change of numbers in ventilator and ICU patient numbers, they do not give out that information, according to hospital spokesperson Melissa Watkins.

“We have 67 COVID positive patients. 10 of those are on ventilators and over 30 are receiving ICU levels care,” said Helen Keller President, Kyle Buchanan.

While Helen Keller hospital hasn’t reached their breaking point of COVID hospitalizations, Buchanan said they are close and even closer to making some tough decisions in order to have more space.

“The more numbers we see and the more demands we have for our services, the closer we have to come to making very difficult decisions as far as elective surgeries and elective activity that we love to do especially this time of the year to help our families out” said Buchanan.

The shear number of COVID patients means you may have to wait longer for other services at the hospital. Doctor Karen Landers is asking everyone to do their part to keep cases down.

“I ask people to just decide everyday, what do you really have to do? If you don’t have to do something, don’t do it. If you don’t have to go to a gathering, don’t go,” said Dr. Landers.

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