COVID-19 positivity down in Morgan County, statewide vaccination website opening for appointments this week

Alabama News

DECATUR, Ala. – A downward trend in COVID-19 numbers highlighted Monday’s weekly COVID-19 update from Morgan County officials.

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said positivity rates had fallen to 9.4%, a far cry from the nearly 60% positivity rate in early January.

Decatur-Morgan Hospital President Kelli Powers said much of the same for the hospital – only nine inpatients were COVID-19 positive as of Monday. Just two were in the ICU and one was on a ventilator.

For comparison, the hospital peaked at over 100 inpatients and 31 on the ventilator at any one time, requiring Decatur-Morgan Hospital to borrow equipment from other hospitals in the Huntsville Hospital Health System during the worst surges.

Powers said despite the declining numbers not to “take your foot off the gas.”

She encouraged everyone to continue masking, practice social distancing and get the vaccine when they’re eligible.

Judy Smith from the Alabama Department of Public Health and Powers both said last week’s winter storm did create a backlog of vaccine appointments, but they expect to catch up this week.

DMH reported 1,000 doses were missed due to two days of closures and the Morgan County Health Department reported a backlog of 1,300 doses – 100 from last week and 1,200 due this week.

Despite the backlog, Powers said every shipment of the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines sent to DMH is split – if you get your first dose at DMH, your second dose is already there and accounted for as well.

Powers and Smith confirmed the hospital and health department will be administering first doses again shortly and Smith confirmed some major news when it comes to scheduling vaccine appointments.

The state’s online scheduling system – will open no later than Wednesday, February 24.

As for the decline in cases – Smith attributed it to COVID-19 treatments, such as remdesivir and monoclonal antibodies, as well as the large number of fully vaccinated Alabamians (those who have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine).

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