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As they struggle to treat a record-high number of COVID-19 patients in their facilities, officials in Tuscaloosa's DCH hospital system are asking community leaders for more assistance to help fight the virus.

According to a Facebook post from Andy North, the VP of Marketing/Communication at DCH, a month-long surge of COVID-19 patients in the system's two local hospitals has caused a major strain on their staff and facilities.

As of Wednesday afternoon, DCH was treating a record-high 174 COVID-19 patients, including 38 in its intensive care units and 22 who were on ventilators.

North said that the hospitals have received aid in the form of donated meals, PPE, hand sanitizer, and more, but added that there is a need now for stronger action to help curb the spread.

"We are not in a position, nor is it our role, to make policy decisions for [local governments.] The help we need is more staff to care for our patients," North said in a post. "However, we would support civic measures to limit additional spread of the virus."

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has long said that the city will not enact any new COVID-related restrictions unless DCH administrators support such a move.

A city spokesperson could not be reached immediately Thursday afternoon to say whether Maddox is considering using his executive authority to do so now.

North said anyone who needs emergency care will receive it at DCH, but urged anyone suffering from less severe symptoms to considering using a primary care provider, urgent care center or telemedicine provider instead of going to the hospital.

Stay connected to The Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.

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