Southeast Health implements changes due to rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Southeast Health hospital has implemented some changes after seeing a skyrocket of covid-19 hospitalizations in the first few days of the new year.

“As of this morning, we have 113 covid inpatients admitted to Southeast Health and of that number about 43 of them are requiring extensive care and about 37 of them require ventilators and breathing machines that represents at an all time high,” Chief Medical Officer George Narby said.

According to Chief Medical Officer George Narby, one of the reasons why the hospital could be seeing alarming numbers is due to social gatherings during the recent holidays. To accommodate the high number of patients, elective procedures have been canceled to rearrange staff, more beds have been added.

“But resources are limited they don’t go on forever and by resources, I mean staff, beds, hospital space, equipment, medicine, and supplies all of the things we need to care for patients,” Narby said.

Narby says they are working constantly on getting more of their resources but for the time being everyone should abide by the CDC guidelines to avoid an uptick in cases and hospitalizations.

“The first line of defense against this enemy is prevention and that’s the public the people out there is really the first line of defense,” Narby said.

The hospital has also adjusted its visitation policy to reduce the risk of covid-19. However, there are some exceptions for visitors. The hospital mainly wants to ensure safety for its workers.

“I think children and people with special needs and those end of life situations there may be others that I can’t recall but there’s a few very narrow situations. We really need to protect our staff of getting covid and getting sick and being unable to help,”

Narby said they are going to continue to make changes depending on the numbers. He wants to remind you that your behavior matters especially to your family and community. Mask up, keep your distance, and practice good hand hygiene until the vaccine is available for you which could be months away from now.

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