State health officials in Alabama warned that the coronavirus is running "out of control" in the southern state.
According to reports from the state health department, over 225,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Alabama to date. In the past two weeks, the daily average has increased by over 50% to 684. This means in just the past week an estimated one in every 342 people in the state has tested positive for the virus.
President of the Alabama Hospital Association and former director of the state health agency, Dr. Donald Williams said during a news conference, "It's out of control. Our ability to contain the virus has been lost."
And with Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaching, Williamson warned, "We have everything necessary to have a disaster between now and the end of December."
State hospitals only have 14% of their intensive care beds available and more people are showing up with the regular seasonal flu. Some hospitals are forced to hire traveling workers from out of state to assist in caring for patients and some are even attempting to hire workers from other countries to handle high caseloads and fill gaps caused by workers who have gotten sick themselves or are too fatigued from months of fighting the pandemic.
Williamson told the local news outlet, "Every hospital I talk to, their biggest problem is staffing."
With the number of cases rising all over the country, people are looking to Moderna and Pfizer to produce their vaccines which both have produced promising results in late-stage clinical trials. Dr. Anthony Fauci would even go so far as to call the results "truly striking."