Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said Wednesday that of the four regional hospitals, one was short of three ICU beds, two had no ICU beds, and one had only one bed.
“Right now, if you’re from Montgomery, and you need an ICU bed, you’re in trouble,” Reed said at a press conference. “If you’re from central Alabama, and you need an ICU bed, you might not be able to get one.”
The health care system is the state’s capital “maxed out,” Reed said.
Montgomery County has more than 1,000 cases and 28 people have died, according to state health department data.
Reed told CNN his hopes of using such deadlines to get the public’s attention.
“This is a serious matter and we must maintain our skills even though many people have relaxed restrictions and the economy is opening up again,” Reed said in a phone interview.
“We need to take more individual responsibility on how we conduct our daily lives. In this community we are not in a safe place given the numbers we see.”
Birmingham cases are on the rise
In Birmingham, the most populous city in Alabama, coronavirus cases are also rising sharply.
Jefferson County, which is located in Birmingham, had 1,453 confirmed cases Thursday, according to state health department data – which is a jump of 35% from the 1,075 cases reported two weeks ago . The county had 85 deaths attributed to Covid-19.
Part of the increase could be attributed to the increase in testing, said State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers, according to the WBRC.
Reed said it is certain that the shortage of ICU beds is directly related to state loosening restrictions.
“It’s definitely part of opening up too easily and not complying with CDC guidelines,” Reed said.
Opening Alabama again
The Alabama Gov.’s stay-at-home order Ivey did not do until April 4, and expired at the end of that month. Ivey replaced it with an order easing restrictions.
On May 11, restaurants and bars will be allowed to serve customers on site, gym and athletic facilities, hair and nail salon and barber shop. Groups of any size are allowed, as long as the guidance is followed at a distance of 6 feet.
Ivey announced several reopening on Thursday, including recreation areas, child care facilities and summer camps. Schools are allowed to open next month.
Many patients in Montgomery area hospitals are not from the city, but rather from rural areas where health care systems cannot meet the needs of the community, Reed said.
“We don’t want to lose anyone, any life, because we don’t have the resources to treat them in this community,” Reed said. “I want us to think about how serious that is because none of us know who will need the ICU bed right now, and who might need it tonight, tomorrow, or the extended Memorial Day weekend. Day. ”