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Huntsville-area leaders say masks effective against virus spread, shouldn’t be political

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Huntsville-area leaders say masks effective against virus spread, shouldn’t be political

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — During Monday’s Huntsville-area COVID-19 briefing, officials said Madison County has nearly reached the 1,000 case mark.

Cases currently sit at 996, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Statewide, Alabama has reported nearly 37,000 COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Officials expressed concern Monday that the rapid increase in cases is based on community spread, which shows no signs of stopping.

Madison County has seen 430 cases in the past two weeks — that’s nearly half the total of all the county’s cases. Secondly, Huntsville Hospital reported performing nearly 2,000 tests last week. The number of positive tests is now as high as 8 percent — it had been just below 3 percent for several weeks.

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Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said 14 HEMSI workers are out today either because they’ve been exposed to a COVID-19 patient or a family member has tested positive.

Both Strong and Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers underlined their support for residents wearing face coverings. Spillers also said the Huntsville Hospital system has its heaviest COVID-19 caseload to date.

“As of this morning, we have 115 COVID positive inpatients in our system,” Spillers said. “When I reported on June 1, we had 28. So that’s a substantial increase in the month of June.”Strong said the message is clear.“We don’t have this pandemic under control. Not in Madison County, not throughout the state of Alabama and not in the United States,” he said.During the briefing, local leaders expressed less concern about hospital bed space and more about exposure of health care workers out in the community, like HEMSI workers. If the virus is spreading and people aren’t taking […]

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