Health officials want rapid COVID-19 testing in Morgan County

Health officials want rapid COVID-19 testing in Morgan County

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - As the COVID-19 numbers continue to increase in Decatur and Morgan County, so do cases among hospital staff at Decatur-Morgan Hospital. Forty-five employees are quarantining after testing positive.

A big concern is testing. Testing is widely available in the county, however, labs are backed up there and around the state due to the volume of tests coming in. That’s why the health department is asking for a change.

Judy Smith with the Alabama Department of Public Health says she met with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FEMA last week to bring rapid COVID testing to Decatur.

She says since this area is now a very high-risk area, the delay in tests is making things worse.

Smith says rapid testing is crucial to allow the community to take the proper steps to quarantine, take care of themselves and their families, and not spread this virus even further.

She says without this rapid testing, the case numbers could go up, and things could get worse in Morgan County.

“What you’re going to see is curfews in towns, curfews in cities across the state. Once again, we go back to the impact on businesses and the negative impact on businesses,” said Smith.

Smith says she doesn’t want to see this happen.

Health and city officials say they don’t want to shut down or limit the city in any way.

And rapid testing could prevent that.

Decatur-Morgan Hospital currently has 30 positive coronavirus inpatients. There’s another 23 waiting test results to determine if they are positive for the virus.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.