Cullman Regional Medical Center (CRMC) began restricting the number of visitors and requiring masks inside hospital facilities again as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. CRMC is currently treating 14 covid patients; previously the hospital was treating four to five people a day for covid since the vaccinations became available in December.
According to CRMC, “Hospitals across the state are seeing an increase in hospitalizations. Continue to be vigilant in mask wearing and social distancing. Everyone should continue to follow precautions to prevent the spread of infection – wash hands, socially distance, wear a mask when you cannot social distance.”
In the past two weeks, 240 people in Cullman County have tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus. Health officials said the delta variant is especially concerning because it is much more contagious than the coronavirus that began circulating through the population in 2020.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “The slope of the increase is unprecedented. This upward trend is extremely concerning, especially with the delta variant being highly infectious and much more transmissible than earlier strains. Getting vaccinated is the best action you can take to protect yourself and those around you.”
He said there have been “breakthrough” cases, where people who have been vaccinated get covid, but those “represent a very small amount of transmission,” and that virtually all serious illness and death from COVID-19 is in unvaccinated individuals.
CRMC has gone back to limiting visitors to one per patient, unless the patient is under 16, and requiring masks for all visitors regardless of vaccination status. Visitors must be over the age of 16 and covid patients are not allowed any visitors.
Gov. Kay Ivey has said she would not institute more restrictions across the state and encouraged people to get the vaccine. “This time last year, people were praying that a vaccine would come to market in time to help slow the surge of deaths & people getting sick. With a lot of hard work, our prayers were answered. If you’re able, roll up your sleeve & get the shot,” she said in a Twitter post Thursday.
Nearly 1,900 Alabamians were being treated in hospitals across the state for covid on Thursday, up from 277 on July 12.
Shots are free and available at local pharmacies, some doctors offices, the health department and at CRMC. To schedule a vaccine at CRMC, visit www.CullmanVaccine.com. Appointments are released five days in advance to ensure there is enough vaccine. Shots are administered at the CRMC Urgent Care Center, 1958 AL Hwy 157.