Doctors urge precautions ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, local doctors have a message to everyone getting ready for the holiday week.

“The virus doesn’t take a break,” said Dr. Michael Chang, the Chief Medical Officer for the USA Health System.

As many are preparing to gather this Thanksgiving, doctors are warning everyone to use caution. “Unfortunately where we think we’re heading is a much higher risk situation after Thanksgiving and with the other holiday seasons coming,” said Dr. Chang.

Mobile County has seen a 45% increase in cases reported in just the past week, according to the Mobile County Health Department. “The pandemic is worsening not getting better,” said Chang.

A big concern is hospitalizations are also trending upwards.

“We are getting back up nearing the 100 cases hospitalized each day with COVID-19. This is concerning of course,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department.

Right now, USA Health is full, and it has been for the majority of the coronavirus pandemic since it began. They are seeing COVID-19 positive patients at both University Hospital and USA Children and Women’s.

“We’ve started off our days with zero ICU beds available, but we’ve been able to make room as the day goes on but they fill up again cyclically as the day goes on,” said Chang.

Reminding everyone to continue practicing the CDC guidelines: washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing. Even while visiting others during Thanksgiving.

“Always say the safest thing to do, is if you are going to be spending more than 15 minutes of cumulative time with people within 6 feet of people, you should be wearing a mask,” said Chang.

Doctors advise if you do plan on meeting with other groups this Thanksgiving, to start isolating as much as you can starting today.

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