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'This is worse than I had anticipated:' Coronavirus spike worries Huntsville Hospital leader

The state is averaging about 1,000 new cases a day. The hospital CEO discussed what he thinks needs to happen to get the virus under control.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 8:19 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2020 7:09 AM

Huntsville Hospital talked to WAAY 31 about the consistent rise in coronavirus patients the past two weeks.

David Spillers, Hospital CEO, said he is growing concerned about the rise. Numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health show the state’s averaging about 1,000 new cases a day over the past week.

"This is worse than I had anticipated. I guess I think I did not anticipate people would totally disregard social distancing and the things that had kept us from being a hotpot in the state and around the country," he said.

Spillers explained that disregard since the state re-opened is putting everyone in danger.

"There are 167 people in our hospitals that are really, really sick. A small percentage of people are never going to make it. If we didn't have COVID probably [they] wouldn't even be in the hospital," he said.

Of those 167 coronavirus patients in the hospital system, Spillers said 91 of them are in Madison County. With more than a thousand patients at hospitals across the state, Spillers said it's time for Gov. Kay Ivey to take action.

"I see no reason the entire state is not wearing a mask, and I understand a lot of people don't support that. [There is] very little evidence, virtually no evidence that it hurts you. A lot of evidence that it helps and it's a very easy thing to do, so that's the first thing I would do as the governor, I'd do statewide masking," he said.

Madison County started mandatory masking Tuesday. WAAY 31 asked Spillers what’s next if that doesn’t do enough to flatten the coronavirus curve.

"I think the next step if this doesn't work, we, I mean the state, is going to have to have to look at whether they allow close contact organizations and businesses to remain open," he said.

He explained what kind of businesses he's talking about.

"I would lean more towards places where people are congregating in large groups, talking, drinking, those types of things. Night clubs, bars, those types of things. Anything where those people are in close contact, are not masking, those are the situations where this is most likely to be spread," he said.

He had this message for anyone who isn't taking the health order seriously.

"It's spreading because a lot of people aren't taking it seriously. I wish they would. I don't know how to get people's attention. I think when we cancel college football season it will get people's attention," he added.

Spillers said he hopes canceling college football isn't what it comes down to. He explained if people get serious and social distance, wear their mask and sanitize he thinks we still have an opportunity to turn this around.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 114098

Reported Deaths: 1144
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21924298
Davidson19812208
Rutherford625453
Hamilton580347
Knox418638
Williamson336322
Sumner326471
Unassigned29285
Out of TN279314
Wilson215223
Montgomery178113
Bradley177112
Sevier17636
Putnam164613
Trousdale15766
Robertson147519
Hamblen131113
Blount11868
Tipton11379
Washington11142
Maury11077
Madison95714
Bedford89011
Sullivan85911
Macon84713
Hardeman84312
Lake7580
Loudon6863
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6468
Anderson6376
Dickson6301
Gibson6152
Dyer5797
Cheatham5546
Rhea5141
Jefferson5133
McMinn49820
Lawrence4976
Henderson4830
Obion4644
Warren4544
Carter4525
Coffee4482
Lauderdale4457
Hardin4267
Cocke4212
Haywood4145
Greene3986
Roane3982
Cumberland3976
Smith3933
Hawkins3915
Monroe3809
Giles36012
McNairy3355
Weakley3293
DeKalb3261
Franklin2964
Marshall2713
Lincoln2591
Carroll2513
Crockett2464
Hickman2400
Claiborne2350
White2323
Henry2310
Campbell2241
Wayne2222
Johnson2140
Marion2104
Chester2012
Grainger1810
Polk1813
Decatur1742
Overton1411
Unicoi1410
Union1330
Cannon1310
Humphreys1133
Benton1111
Jackson1091
Scott1050
Grundy1042
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan941
Perry770
Fentress760
Hancock761
Stewart720
Clay660
Lewis621
Houston540
Moore530
Van Buren330
Pickett271

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