Hospitalization rates hit ‘critical stage’ as COVID-19 cases increase

Decatur-Morgan Hospital’s COVID-19 patients has more than doubled since its ‘peak’ in July.
Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 6:22 PM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Health and hospital officials are begging you to do three simple things. You’ve heard it several times before.

Mask, distance, sanitize.

Monday, in Alabama and here in the Tennessee Valley, we’ve hit an all-time high in hospitalization numbers.

There are 302 patients being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals within the Huntsville Hospital Health System.

One hospital in particular is really feeling the wrath, that’s Decatur-Morgan Hospital.

Hospital staff there say the amount of COVID-19 patients they’re currently seeing is critical, concerning and potentially dangerous.

Currently, there are 60 positive COVID-19 patients being treated at Decatur-Morgan Hospital, with an additional nine patients waiting their results.

“We’re going to get in a crucial stage. We’re already at 19 in the ICU. I’m holding quite a few patients, nine, in the ER, trying to find just regular beds for patients,” Hospital President Kelli Powers explained.

Powers says the ICU is full with beds being taken up at exponential rates, and staff members are struggling to keep up.

She says the hospital is trying to look at alternative staffing and alternative measures to continue care for patients.

”Trying to work with our physicians to see if we can get patients home. If a patient just needs oxygen, maybe we can get them O2 at home, even though they’re positive and isolate. There’s a lot of things like that we’re trying to do,” Powers said.

Powers says her staff anticipated a spike two weeks after Thanksgiving.

It’s only been four days since the holiday, and hospitalizations as well as case numbers are rising at exponentially fast rates.

”I just hate for Morgan County to be one of the hot counties with high numbers. Please just wear your mask and social distance, do the right thing,” Powers said.

Powers wants to remind everyone that her staff isn’t just treating COVID-19 patients.

Sunday, Decatur-Morgan Hospital experienced a record-high number of emergency room patients in one day.

Powers says if you mask up, social distance and sanitize, it could help positively impact all these areas.

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