DECATUR, Ala. — Every county in North Alabama is listed as High for the community transmission of COVID-19, according to the Alabama Dept. of Public Health. Officials held their weekly briefing on the subject in the Morgan County area on Monday.
Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling was joined by Anita Walden, the Chief Nursing Officer at Decatur Morgan Hospital, and Dr. Wes Stubblefield, the Alabama Department of Public Health Northeastern District Medical Officer.
Mayor Bowling told the public Morgan County saw 400 new COVID-19 cases over the past week. That’s a nearly 60% drop from three weeks ago when the county had 944 new cases.
The moving 7-day rate is also down, at almost 14%. Last week, the percentage was 19.7.
At Decatur Morgan Hospital, Walden says they also have less patients with the virus. “We have a total of 59 patients positive today,” she said. “18 of those are ICU patients. 17 of those in the ICU are on ventilators.”
“We had 1500 inpatients as of yesterday, that’s compared to 1950 last week and 2890 on September the first, so we are seeing some improvement in those numbers,” said Dr. Stubblefield.
Unfortunately, the number of deaths are not improving. Decatur-Morgan had six COVID-19 deaths between Friday night and Monday morning. Walden says that’s a big reason there are more ICU beds now available at the hospital.
“Statewide, we only have 3% ICU availability and we have -2% in this region, which means we have more beds taken up then we have actually beds, ICU beds. So to remember — although we are seeing less cases, we are still very pressured in our hospitals,” said Dr. Stubblefield.
If you qualify, the hospital continues to offer COVID-19 booster shots. They give the Pfizer booster on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while the Moderna booster is given Tuesdays and Thursdays.