Decatur leaders say they have a plan


MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – Officials from the City of Decatur, Decatur City Schools, and Decatur Morgan Hospital are gathered on Friday morning to share an update on the ongoing response to COVID-19.

On Decatur City Schools –

Superintendent of Decatur City Schools Michael Douglas says to parents “breathe”. The school system has a plan.

The school system will be supplying grades 3rd through 12th with digital assignments while Pre-K through 2nd grade will have take-home packets. Douglas says grades 3-12th are supplied with Chromebooks.

He says there is a plan for special needs students but did not go into detail. He said they will continue supplying students with virtual ACT/SAT preps but defer to the ACT officials for testing updates.

He says spring break starts Friday, March 27th, and that this plan will kick off April 6th. They are prepared for tweaks and devices breaking.

Douglas says he is unable to comment on the future of the seniors until June 5th, 2020.

He also says there is no substitute for a good face to face with teachers but there will be support hotlines available.

Superintendent Douglas wants everyone to enjoy their spring break and not worry about work.

On Decatur-Morgan Hospitals –

Decatur-Morgan Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Anita Walden says medical staff is working diligently daily and keeping up with changes.

The hospital is not allowing any visitors and have closed all but one entrance to the building. Walden says temperatures are taken at the one entrance.

She said anyone with a temperature of 100.4 cannot enter, staff included.

She says the hospital has 101 inpatients with 91 beds open. Walden stated that the hospital has tested 77 people with 50 negatives and 5 positives.

She says of the positive cases, 2 are inpatients and 3 are quarantined at home.

Chief Walden said the clinic in Hartselle has tested 34 people with 17 negative results and 2 positive flu cases.

Walden confirms there is a shortage of PPE and they are trying to conserve. They have 11 ventilators and a few extra rented out.

Walden says they are ready to combat a surge. They have identified other areas to put beds and have established a labor pull through the HR department where you can submit your name if you want to work.

Chief Anita Walden says she is amazed by community support and encourages the city of Decatur to take COVID-19 seriously, stay at home, wash your hands, and keep your distance because we control the spread.

The Mayor on the city of Decatur –

Mayor Tab Bowling says the city of Decatur continues to encourage the governors and department of health’s guidelines.

He said trash collection is fully operation but recycling is suspended.

Mayor Bowling says business as usual at the police and fire departments. If you need to schedule an appointment at the city hall, call (256) 341-4500.

He says it’s not a time to fear.

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