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At least 62 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at UAB in Birmingham

UPDATE: UAB now says there are 55 patients hospitalized at the hospital, as of Friday, March 27, 2020. The number dropped on Friday.


There are at least 62 patients hospitalized at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham because of complications from COVID-19 as the number of cases has skyrocketed in the past 24 hours.

UAB says it is treating 62 patients at its facility in Birmingham. The hospital has said at least half of its COVID-19 patients have required intubation and a ventilator.

As of 2:50 p.m. on Thursday, there are 501 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has said that about 9 percent of the state’s confirmed cases have required hospitalization. If that were the case, there would be 45 patients hospitalized in Alabama. But there are far more hospitalized at UAB alone.

The department thus far has refused to publish comprehensive hospitalization data and how many patients have required a ventilator.

An analysis published by the Alabama Political Reporter on Thursday found that there are at least 100 hospitalized patients across the state who have tested positive for the virus or have an illness the hospital highly suspects of being the virus. UAB has said it has many more patients under investigation and awaiting test results.

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If hospitalized patients who are awaiting COVID-19 test results are included, the number is closer to 300 across the state, our analysis showed, as of Wednesday. But that number may have changed as more patients received test results.

At EAMC in Lee County, another hard-hit county, there were nine patients hospitalized with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis as of Wednesday, but the hospital reports there are 25 more suspected COVID-19 patients who have not received results for tests.

Our data was limited because it only includes some of the state’s largest hospitals, and not all hospitals provided the same type of data to us. Some did not respond to our requests for information.

The number of people with the virus, as state health officials have said, is much larger than the confirmed case count. Hospitals have been conserving testing supplies by only testing more serious and symptomatic cases.

 

Chip Brownlee
Written By

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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