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Expect long waiting times at Decatur-Morgan Hospital as Alabama hospitals fill with COVID patients

The president of Decatur-Morgan Hospital issued an apology to the community for the long wait times in the emergency room.

DECATUR, Ala. — Decatur Morgan Hospital President Kelli Powers says COVID-19 numbers are steadily rising, taking a toll on the rest of the hospital.

 As of September 7, there are 74 patients in Morgan County being treated for COVID-19. 62 of those patients are unvaccinated and 10 are in the ICU. 

"We're continuing to see big numbers in our emergency rooms," said Powers. "You know, I want to apologize to the community, we're doing the best we can. There's a lot of long waits there."

Powers said that even though the hospital is being overwhelmed, you should still go to the hospital if you're facing life-threatening injuries. She also explains how to properly check your oxygen levels using the pulse oximeter. 

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"If it goes below 90, we want you to come to the emergency room, we're still continuing to see people come in in the 70s," Powers explained. "When you come into the emergency room and your oxygen set is in the 70s, the chance of you living is really, really low." 

Vaccination rates in Alabama are rising, but Judy Smith with the Alabama Department of Public Health wants the community to do more. 

"You know, this is a war that we can control," Smith said. "This is a war that there is some remedy for and for whatever reason, we just are struggling to accept it."

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