Mayor Bobby Herndon of the City of Northport, Mayor Walt Maddox of the City of Tuscaloosa, and Andy North, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, DCH Health System, joined Chamber members via Zoom December 7 for a COVID-19 community update.
Maddox, who has throughout the pandemic stressed the need to protect the area’s healthcare system, said it was important to engage in smart behavior.
“We’re in a critical stage right now,” Maddox said, noting the current DCH case load of more than 100 patients. “Although I believe we’re in the closing chapter of this book, it’s the most important one.”
Maddox said that small business owners had “taken it on the chin,” and like the healthcare system, protecting small business was also a critical concern. He said there were no plans for additional shutdowns at the current time.
Herndon said the City of Northport was also facing challenges, with as many as 25 city workers out under COVID protocol.
“With the holiday season coming up it could be a disaster waiting to happen,” Herndon said. “People need to take precautions.”
Herndon said the Northport City Council has set aside $100,000 to aid small business in Northport.
North told attendees that event though inpatient numbers are trending up, the DCH System has teams working every day to manage the patient flow.
“As a hospital we are not alone – we are working together to create a life preserver,” North said. He pointed to programs such as long term and retirement care, DCH Encore, and the system’s new Intensivist Program as being particularly helpful with managing COVID-19 cases.
North said they were anticipating learning more about the dates on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine following a December 10 meeting with Pfizer and a December 17 meeting with Moderna. He said DCH would use the recommended protocols to distribute the vaccine.
Click here for the Chamber's COVID-19 resources.
Click here for COVID-19 information from the DCH Health System.