Friday, leaders in Madison County discussed concerning surge in coronavirus cases.
"Last Friday we had 85 quarantine cases in Madison County. Today we have 243. Which I think as you know is a significant number," said Jeff Birdwell the Madison County Emergency Management Director.
Leaders at Huntsville City Hall urged the community to keep up with social distancing and sanitizing practices because right now the county is being watched very closely because the numbers are going up quickly.
Friday, Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said for the first time during this coronavirus pandemic, Madison county is now on a hotspot watch list.
"This particular community was taking a strong stance and providing a lot of message and a lot of information, and our numbers were low in this county compared to other parts of the state," he said.
She explained that's now changed.
Birdwell explained what being on a watch list means.
"The COVID-19 task force watch list represents any organizations or governments that has more than a 200 percent increase in cases," he said.
Fortunately, the number of the people in the hospital isn’t jumping the same way. Landers said that’s because a lot of the cases in Madison County are in people younger than 65-years-old.
"Now why are we not seeing quite as much hospitalization right now? Well, I think a part of this is we are seeing a number of COVID-19 patients in the young population," Landers said.
She said in Alabama one out of every 10 coronavirus patients ends up in the hospital.
Landers explained the hospitals are tracking the numbers and plans are in place in case of a bigger spike, but she doesn't know if that's enough.
"I am deeply worried about statewide the ability of our healthcare system to respond to and handle these numbers. With these rising numbers, if we do not get this under control it's going to overwhelm our healthcare system," she said.