Decatur-Morgan Hospital feels impact of coronavirus case surge with record inpatient, ICU numbers

The hospital is seeing a record number of coronavirus cases.

Posted: Dec 7, 2020 6:18 PM

Morgan County officials gathered on Monday for their weekly coronavirus update, pleading for people to wear masks, social distance and be personally responsible with the number of cases rapidly growing.

Decatur-Morgan Hospital officials said they're starting to have to borrow resources from other hospitals.

Kelli Powers, the hospital's president, said on Monday that it has set a record number of coronavirus patients, and because of the increase, they're having to borrow resources from other hospitals.

Powers said right now, there are 78 coronavirus inpatients in Decatur-Morgan Hospital. Of those, 25 are in the ICU and 11 are on ventilators, she said.

Powers explained the hospital only has 19 ICU beds, so with six additional ICU patients, they've had to re-purpose areas of the hospital and are enacting their surge plan.

"We have a surge plan and we are currently working on getting everything ready for that in Decatur. We have one as a system. We would come together. There are various plans out there. We may have to have the VBC in Huntsville open to have patients in case we need it, but currently, we are getting our PACU and other areas ready if we need to put ICU patients there," she said.

Powers said that they received a call from a hospital in Georgia asking if they could take a patient because they're out of room. She said right now, the hospitals across the state are feeling the strain from the rise in cases.

Michael Glen with the Alabama Department of Public Health said on Monday that positivity rates are up across North Alabama. He said over the last 14 days, 51% of people tested for coronavirus in Jackson County have tested positive, and 54% in Marshall County. In Morgan County, he said sites are currently at a 47.9% testing rate.

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