MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – Decatur health officials are saying more children are getting sick and being hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus.
In a news conference, Decatur officials spoke on the rise in cases. 234 Morgan County residents contracted the virus in only one week. 26 people are now struggling with the virus at Decatur-Morgan Hospital, an increase of 11 people in one week.
Because of the rise, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling is saying the county is “not headed in a favorable direction.”
Decatur-Morgan Hospital President Kelli Powers says the age of those getting the virus and being hospitalized continues to drop. She says most of the in-patients at Decatur-Morgan are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, with a 34-year-old in the ICU on a ventilator.
Statewide, hospitals are starting to see children admitted as well.
“On Sunday, there were 28 pediatric-confirmed COVID-19 inpatients and 24 pediatric-presumptive,” said Powers. “So statewide, a little more than 50 inpatient children.”
Powers says this trend is much different than last year.
“We had very few children if you remember before,” she added. “But now, I just had a text this morning about an 18-month-old came through the emergency room… So yes, more and more children are becoming positive.”
Powers says a big cause is the delta variant, and with students headed back to the classroom, more children are expected to contract the virus.
Michael Glenn with the Alabama Department of Public Health says the solution to protecting children not old enough to receive the vaccine is what they’ve been saying all along.
“What we can do as adults is if you are eligible to be vaccinated, we would encourage you to do so,” said Glenn. “Not only for your own sake but for those around you as well.”
Glenn and Powers are urging all those eligible to get vaccinated.