Hospitalizations, positivity rates climb exponentially in Morgan County

Nearly half of people who get tested for COVID-19 will test positive.
Updated: Dec. 7, 2020 at 7:27 PM CST
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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The worry among health care officials continues to increase as hospitalizations and positivity rates in Morgan County continue to rise.

Today, Morgan County has one of the highest positivity rates in the state, 47.9 percent.

That means, nearly half of the people who test for the virus, have it.

“The virus is rampant in our community folks, whether you want to believe it or not,” Michael Glenn with the Alabama Department of Public Health said.

Glenn says Morgan County, along with several other north Alabama counties, are in a very serious situation.

”I don’t foresee these numbers going down any. There’s been nothing to allude me to think that things will change over the next 4-6 weeks if we don’t change our behavior, we have the capacity to change this,” Glenn explained.

Glenn says masking, distancing and sanitizing would change this, however he says people aren’t even doing that.

As our positivity rate continues to climb, this in turn is drastically affecting our hospitals.

Decatur-Morgan Hospital president Kelli Powers says this is a dire situation.

”We have 78 inpatients, which is an all time high. Four PUIs, 14 in the ICU that are positive, but I’ve got 25 in the ICU and only 19 ICU beds, so we’ve had to make additional ICU beds,” Powers said.

Powers says 16 patients need help with breathing with a system called Bi-pap and 11 are on ventilators, two of which had to be borrowed from Helen Keller Hospital.

Powers say they’re now working on turning other units inside the hospital into ICU beds to prepare for even more patients in the coming weeks.

Decatur-Morgan hospital is also offering a new infusion treatment.

It’s for patients who test positive for COVID-19, are over the age of 65 and or have co-morbidities.

Hospital staff says the infusion decreases your chances of being hospitalized.

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