Decatur officials address slowing COVID-19 numbers

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DECATUR, Ala. — In their weekly COVID-19 news conference, Decatur and Morgan County officials addressed the number of people diagnosed, hospitalized, and testing for the virus.

Within the past week, 618 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Morgan County, bringing the total to 19,400. Last week, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling reported 620 new cases, and the week prior was 944.

“Morgan’s 7-day average is 19.7 so that’s down about a little over 2%,” said Michael Glenn with Alabama Department of Public Health. “Still very high, a lot of community transmission going on, but we’re headed in the right direction so that’s positive news.”

Michael Glenn and Decatur Morgan Hospital President Kelli Powers says the dropping numbers are encouraging.

“As of this morning, we have 71 inpatients which is down a little,” said Powers. Last week, she reported 74 inpatients. Even though there was a slight drop in patients, Powers attributed it to some being discharged and some dying.

Powers said currently, 15 people are in the ICU and all of them are on ventilators.

“Yesterday was the first time statewide that we’ve been under 2,000 people hospitalized with COVID since August the 8th so that’s a positive sign,” said Glenn. “Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of deaths going on.”

He added that most days, the state is seeing double-digit death numbers and those will be the last thing to see improvements.

Still, the demand for COVID-19 tests and the positivity rate are down, hinting we may be headed toward the right direction. Glenn says the only way to continue the trend is more vaccines getting in arms.

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be readily available at health departments, hospitals, and pharmacies.

The newest COVID-19 testing center, which opened last week, is still taking patients. Glenn said during the first two days of it being open, they tested 94 people.

The drive-thru clinic is open from 8:00am-5:00pm at the Decatur Fire and Police Training Center, which is at 4119 Old Highway 31. No appointment is required.

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