Decatur Morgan Hospital seeing highest number of patients yet

Morgan County COVID-19 case increase

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - In the last two weeks, Morgan County has more than doubled it’s number of COVID-19 cases. As of Tuesday, Decatur Morgan Hospital had 17 inpatient cases, the most in the Tennessee Valley.

“I think a lot of people got relaxed because we hadn’t seen that many positives in our county and a lot of people just thought there was no one positive here so they didn’t have to worry as much," said Anita Walden, the Chief Nursing Officer for Decatur Morgan Hospital.

Walden said their ICU looks like a bit of a war zone right now, with a controlled chaos helping their doctors and nurses fight back against the virus. As of Monday, the hospital had five patients on ventilators.

One thing she wants the public to understand is they control how many people come to the hospital sick.

“If people aren’t going to do the right thing then we’re going to see more numbers here,” Walden said. “We’re going to take care of whatever comes to us, that is our assurance to the community. But I hope they don’t have to come.”

She said people need to separate as much as possible, just because businesses and restaurants are back open does not mean the virus doesn’t exist anymore

Walden said there’s no way she can determine the exact cause of a spike. The people they are seeing with the virus are all very different, some are from the same family, but most are from different walks of life.

She thinks it’s a combination of people getting tired of staying at home and the Memorial Day weekend holiday.

For her nurses and doctors she said morale has been high, but the community support has started to diminish.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen the food begin to dwindle off a little bit and I fear now the morale for the staff may also start to dwindle a little bit," Warden said. “So I would just encourage the community to let us know you care.”

Walden said it doesn’t have to be food, her staff also really appreciates handwritten cards and letters.

From Monday to Tuesday, Walden said they were able to send two people home.

“It’s great, we always celebrate, we’re so happy when we’re able to send somebody home who has been positive," she said.

For now, Walden said she’s hoping they have seen the worst of the rush.

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