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Decatur, Morgan County officials prepare for severe weather amid COVID-19 crisis

County Commissioner and Chairman Ray Long says about 20 storm shelters are open to the public

DECATUR, Ala — So far, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in Morgan County according to Decatur Morgan Hospital.

"We have tested 51 patients, and we have 16 that have come back negative," says Decatur Morgan Hospital President Nathaniel Richardson, Jr.

Ten more patients at the hospital are being tested. Those results are expected in the next 24-48 hours. During that window, the hospital is also preparing for severe weather.

"We have certain protocols that we utilize, lock-down protocols and any other types of information that we need to get out to not just our staff members that are in the hospital, but staff members who may be home," says Richardson.


County Commissioner and Chairman Ray Long says about 20 storm shelters are open to the public. One includes Decatur High School.

RELATED: Severe weather shelter recommendations during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

RELATED: Local EMA officials: Have a severe weather plan


Long says most shelters hold up to just under 100 people. That capacity is a problem for practicing social distancing.

"Our shelters will be open, and we've asked y'all to be open and at least put the sign up to let people know we can't guarantee the 6-feet apart," says Long.
 
Long is pushing for folks to seek shelter if they have to. "Set that COVID-19 aside and get in a shelter. We know a tornado will damage you," added Long.

Officials plan to provide another update this coming Wednesday 10. a.m., at Decatur City Hall.