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“It’s all hands on deck,” Alabama runs out of ICU beds as COVID cases surge

Hospitals in Alabama have run out of intensive care unit beds as coronavirus cases spike throughout the state, forcing employees to create space to deal with sufferers as they look ahead to open beds. There have been 29 extra sufferers than ICU beds accessible as of Wednesday, an Alabama Department of Public Health spokesperson confirmed to CBS News.

Hospital staffers have been pressured to transform hallways, common affected person rooms and emergency areas into areas the place they will deal with sufferers in want of ICU rooms, CBS affiliate WHNT reported. Officials stated some sufferers may very well be transferred to completely different hospitals when beds turn out to be accessible. 

“We’ve never been here before. We are truly now in uncharted territory in terms of our ICU bed capacity,” Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, instructed CBS affiliate WTVY.

Last week, Governor Kay Ivey reinstated Alabama’s state of emergency, saying the COVID-19 infections are “taxing” the state’s hospitals. The order permits for registered nurses to maneuver between amenities and hurries up the method for hospitals to amass extra provides. The state has a 35% p.c vaccination rate, one of the bottom within the nation.

Hospitals throughout southern states have been swamped with COVID sufferers as the Delta variant fuels the most recent surge in cases. In Houston, the place COVID charges proceed to extend, there are solely 44 open ICU beds throughout the state, KHOU reported. 

Jeff Brannon, CEO of Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama, stated medical professionals are working extra time to look after the flood of sufferers and so they’ve been pressured to re-train employees who have been beforehand performing non-clinical jobs. “It’s all hands on deck,” he instructed WTVY.

Meanwhile, the Elmore Correctional Facility is experiencing an outbreak behind bars. As of Tuesday, 191 inmates have examined optimistic for COVID-19, all of whom have been asymptomatic, in line with the state’s Department of Corrections. A complete of 224 inmates are at present sick with the virus.