Clarke County hospitals continue to fill up, officials look to other states for assistance

Local News

CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – It’s a struggle to keep up with the changes happening daily in Clarke County as COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

“What is the capacity of our funeral homes? Do we have the ability to take care of all of those who are deceased, or do we need to activate our fatality management plan,” said Roy Waite who serves as the county’s EMA and E-911 director.

That’s a real conversation being had right now among Clarke County and neighboring county officials. Waite says hospitals continue to fill up. 

“It is a constant increase right now. We’re also seeing quite a few fatalities. Some of those haven’t been reported out by the public health yet. Throughout the county we know of 10-12 people in the past 7-10 days who have died from COVID, or have had COVID who have died so we expect those numbers to be reported soon,” he added.

Hospital staff across the county are working to handle the rush. Waite says, like most areas, the problem isn’t getting any better. Now, they’re looking at hospitals across the southeast in other states hoping another facility has space. 

“We’ve had nurses and staff on the phone for a couple of hours trying to find a location to take a patient that has COVID, as well as patients who are non-COVID,” Waite added.

He says the number of people receiving the vaccine has increased in recent days. In the meantime officials are looking ahead to predict what their needs will be within the next 12-14 days.

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