By Faye Gaston

There are just two intensive care unit beds available Monday (August 16) out of Alabama's 1,562. (Source, Alabama Hospital Association). With ICU beds full across Baptist Health, the biggest concern now is having enough staff to meet the growing demand.

As of Thursday (August 12) school districts in Alabama had reported 5,970 COVID-19 cases already this school year. (Source, Alabama Department of Health).

Some preachers are praying for more vaccinations and hosting vaccination clinics.

Others are skirting the topic of vaccines or openly preaching against them in a region that's both deeply religious and reeling from a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Theologian Curtis Chang says ministers are not widely advocating for vaccinations, but that the vast majority are on the sidelines afraid to speak out about a polarizing topic. (Source, The Associated Press).

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