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As COVID cases, hospitalizations trend downward, Morgan County leaders encourage people to 'don't let off the gas'

Morgan County leaders encourage people to continue to follow CDC guidelines to flatten the curve.

DECATUR, Ala. — COVID-19 cases across the Tennessee Valley have dropped significantly, but Morgan County leaders say that doesn't mean to stop wearing your mask.

Our WZDX News reporter has the details on the downward trend. 

"I'm excited to announce we are down to nine inpatients. Nine. Single digits," says Decatur-Morgan Hospital CEO, Kelli Powers.

This is a dramatic drop compared to previous months. Powers says the most inpatients they've had were more than one hundred.

"We had patients anywhere we could put 'em. With a total census of over 200, which is a lot.  At one point we had 31 patients on ventilators," says Powers.

Alabama Department of Public Health Northern Administrator, Judy Smith, believes treatments have mostly contributed to the fewer numbers, and the post-holiday season. She believes vaccinations play a role as well.

"We are now in the largest group that we have given second doses to. So do we think that's played a role? Absolutely, and from here on in that will help us get through this obstacle course," says Smith.

Despite the trend in the right direction, last week's winter storm delayed vaccinations.

"Once we were able to open up Wednesday, and Wednesday we probably shouldn't have opened up, but we did. And we were able to make up almost all of those doses this week and continue to do the doses this week," says Smith.

Smith says they're behind about 500 doses and will continue administering them this week. 

Mayor Tab Bowling is encouraging people to stay the course. "It's like racing. You don't let off the gas. You keep doing what you're doing, distancing, sanitizing, wearing your mask, and then of course when you're time comes getting in line to receive the vaccine," says, Bowling.

Morgan County leaders say to be on the look out for the vaccination appointment system, alcovidvaccine.gov. They say it should be activated no later than two days from now. 

Smith also says patients who received their first dose will be able to receive the second booster dose.