Confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus continue to climb in Tuscaloosa County following the Christmas holiday, and the DCH Health System is once again setting new records for those needing inpatient care.

The healthcare provider is currently treating 171 inpatients for COVID-19 as of 4 p.m. Monday, December 28. 36 of those patients are in the Intensive Care Unit, and 20 patients have been placed on a ventilator.

The latest update marks the highest count of patients in the ICU since the pandemic began. DCH set its previous record of 35 patients just two days ago.

Vice President of Marketing and Communications Andy North says DCH will follow the Alabama Department of Public Health's guidelines for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. The health care provider is currently in phase 1a of the ADPH plan which focuses primarily on frontline health care workers.

"Members of the public are not included in phase 1a. Phases 1b and 1c include some members of the public who are at higher risk," North said. "When ADPH moves to phase 1b, and DCH is prepared to begin administering the vaccine, then a notice will be sent out via social media, DCH’s website, and news media."

"DCH encourages you to research the vaccine options and get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you," he added.

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