SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WAFF) - To date, there have been more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases in Marshall County.
Workers at Marshall Medical Centers are dealing with the highest number of positive patients during the pandemic.
There are 55 COVID-19 positive patients at both of Marshall Medical Centers’ campuses.
Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Woodruff said it’s the largest amount she has seen and believes community spread may play a factor.
“We see a lot of husbands and wives, grandmother’s and grandfather’s you know those kinds of things because they got together at their house and now they are positive or exposed,” said Woodruff.
To help accommodate the number of patients, hospital administrators discontinued all elective services and opened up recovery units.
“So, we have six additional beds at Marshall South and 5 additional beds at Marshall North because we were running out of ICU beds for non-COVID patients,” said Woodruff.
Michael Glenn from the Alabama Department of Public Health said the test positivity rate in Marshall County is 54 percent.
That is the highest rate in the state of Alabama.
Woodruff said that is a big concern ahead of the Christmas holiday.
“I can’t imagine how we are going to handle this and I’m just being honest with everybody. You know our most valuable resource is our employees and they are working hard and some of them are sick. The ones that are sick, they are not working but our staff is very limited.” said Woodruff.
Woodruff said she is hoping everyone will continue to follow CDC guidelines and has a message to help reduce the spread.
“If you personally are not worried about COVID and you would survive it okay, don’t think about yourself. Think about members of your family who are elderly and or people you encounter when you are out and about shopping, those are the people we want you to be considerate of,” said Woodruff.
There are also counselors available at the hospital to help assist staff with emotional support.