UAB, JCDH physicians give COVID-19 updates ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Alabama News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — App users, click here to view the stream.

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) physicians held a joint press conference Friday morning to provide COVID-19 updates.

UAB Hospital is among many medical facilities across the state of Alabama working to manage the high increase of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations seen during the past several weeks.

Roughly 300 people are now hospitalized in Jefferson County for Covid-19 and more than 100 are being treated at UAB. The increase in hospitilizations has started to impact resources reserved for people with non Covid related illnesses.

UAB staff say if high disease transmission rates continue they will have to delay cares and essential treatment like for cancer patients. Dr. Nafziger says as community transmission has become more widespread it has also begun to impact their medical professionals.

“You know up until recently we’ve been really successful in keeping the employee cases down to a minimum. We are beginning to see some staffing shortages related to the impact of Covid-19 cases on our employees. This is why it’s so important we all do our part to be responsible to stop the spread of the virus,” Dr. Sarah Nafziger, UAB, said.

Jefferson County is expected to start receiving the vaccine next month and the first doses will be given to first responders and those in the healthcare field.             

At 11 a.m. physicians addressed COVID-19 updates, current case numbers, latest vaccine and treatment news, and guidance about the virus ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Speakers included:

  • Mark Wilson, M.D.: Jefferson County Health Officer 
  • Sarah Nafziger, M.D.: Co-chair of UAB’s Emergency Management Committee
  • Michael Saag, M.D.: Professor of Medicine in UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases

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