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Montgomery COVID-19 patients being diverted to Birmingham due to ICU bed shortage

FILE (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
FILE (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) — Critical care patients in Montgomery are being diverted to Birmingham because their ICU beds are full.

At a news conference Wednesday morning Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said the city has seen their positive number of COVID-19 patients continue to rise and their hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed.

"Our healthcare system is at a critical point right now. We are at a point that we are now diverting acute care patients to Birmingham because of our ICU bed shortage. That's very serious," Reed said.

There are currently 956 confirmed cases in Montgomery County and 26 deaths, according to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health. Reed said the county has seen a surge in recent weeks.

"Right now, if you're in Montgomery and you need an ICU bed, you're in trouble," Reed emphasized. "We don't want to lose anyone, any life, because we don't have the resources to treat them in this community."

Reed said Baptist East Hospital has only three ICU beds available, Baptist South Hospital and Baptist South in Prattville both have no ICU beds, and Jackson Hospital currently only has one ICU bed available.

"I come before you today to tell you the circumstances are certainly dire," said Reed. He added that Montgomery is on a list of cities compiled by the White House as "places to watch."

In a statement to ABC 33/40 UAB said it had not received any patients from Montgomery on Wednesday, and The Jefferson County Healthcare Coalition had not received any official requests for assistance with the transfer of patients from Montgomery to Birmingham.

Reed did not mention which Birmingham hospitals patients were being diverted to, or how many, but we are working to find out and this story will be updated as more information enters the ABC 33/40 newsroom.

Watch Reed's full comments in the news conference:

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