Morgan County health officials urge vigilance as spike in coronavirus hospitalizations continues

The number of positive cases in the county is well over 7,500.

Posted: Dec 14, 2020 6:53 PM
Updated: Dec 14, 2020 7:16 PM

In Morgan County, they have more than 7,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Officials are now begging people to do the right thing and stay away from large gatherings to keep the numbers low.

WAAY 31 learned more on why they believe their cases are continuing to skyrocket.

Alabama Department of Public Health Administrator for the Northern District Judy Smith said in the last two weeks, more than 50% of coronavirus tests are coming back positive. That's a huge issue as the hospitals are overloaded and people are still dying from the virus.

"We've still failed to accomplish what we needed to get to that finish line. Thanksgiving kicked us big time. I mean, it kicked us big time," said Smith.

Smith said they have more sick patients in the hospital than ever before with coronavirus complications. There's nearly 100 positive cases with 17 people in the ICU and 16 on ventilators.

Smith and Kelli Powers, the president for Decatur-Morgan Hospital, said they can't exactly pinpoint specific places where the spread is happening, but it's from within the community and that is having a negative impact on their nurses and doctors.

"At the end of the day, they're tired and at some point, money doesn't matter. It's 'I'm worn out and I don't want to work anymore,' so yes, we need more staff," said Powers.

She said she's recruiting more staff to help out and is offering bonuses, but needs people to mask up, social distance and sanitize.

Smith said if people are not vigilant now, there could be dire consequences.

"A lot of our folks will not go to Christmas with us because of that, but the finish line is there folks. We just got to do this together," she said.

Powers said Huntsville, Athens and Cullman are getting the first batches this week, and Huntsville and Athens will share with Decatur. With that said, she's hoping they'll get at least 300 for Morgan County this Thursday or Friday.

They said once the vaccine is made available, the fight in the pandemic is not over.

Smith also said it may be the spring or summer before the vaccine is available to the community. Once it is, they'll determine a way of how to get it to everyone in a safe way.

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