James Brown didn’t want to call it a “trend,” but the Coffee County EMA Director offered some encouraging numbers at the county commission meeting Monday.
Bottom line? Gov. Kay Ivey’s mask mandate appears to be working.
“I can think of four major things it could be, but one of the top things is the mask. It takes a good 2-3 weeks to see a real change in that. We’ve been to that time period and we do see a drop. I’m hoping that’s what it is.
“Our positivity rate is another thing we look at and that also seems to be dropping. We got up to almost a 20 percent positivity rate and now we’re down to about a 14, 15 percent. That’s not significant but it’s still a downward trend.”
Brown told the commissioners that the county had 761 cumulative cases on Monday morning and another 50 were “probable.”
However, there have been 117 cases in the last 14 days, “which is a significant drop from where we were before,” Brown added. “That’s a little over eight a day. Before, we were trending around 20 a day at our last meeting two weeks ago.”
Just as encouraging, the hospital situation is looking better.
“The ICUs are looking better, medical/surgical beds are much better. The one we’re always worried about is what our hospitalization rate is,” Brown said. “We never had a real problem in Enterprise but we thought we might because the Dothan hospitals were filling up, which meant we couldn’t transfer people over there. Now that the Dothan numbers, for the most part, are looking a little better we’re feeling good. We just hope that trend continues.”
With schools opening up, Brown said it will take three weeks to a month before the effect will be reflected in the numbers.
“We hope that doesn’t lead to more cases, but we’re going to watch that real close,” Brown said Tuesday afternoon. “The good thing is all the schools require masks. People are protecting themselves from spreading it to somebody else.
“So even people who are positive but asymptomatic, with a mask on they’re not spreading it to somebody else. Nobody would do that intentionally. But if you don’t know (you are positive), wearing that mask definitely helps that out.”
Follow Ken Rogers on Twitter @debamabeat.
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