As DCH Health System is now treating 88 inpatients for the novel Coronavirus, the Alabama Department of Public Health is also urging residents to only visit hospital emergency rooms in times of true emergency in an effort to reduce the strain placed upon doctors and nurses.

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"As cases of COVID-19 in Alabama increase rapidly, subsequent hospitalizations due to the virus have risen at a rate not previously seen," said the ADPH in a Wednesday release.

"Alabama hospitals have been admitting significantly more COVID-19 patients recently, including patients who are younger, sicker and unvaccinated. As a result, emergency rooms are being overwhelmed at this crucial time."

DCH Health System reported a total of 88 inpatients within its three hospitals Wednesday afternoon. Of the 88 inpatients, 23 are in the ICU and seven require treatment with a ventilator.

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