James Brown speaking

Coffee County EMA director James Brown (with mask on) is shown speaking at Coffee County Commission meeting Monday morning, Sept 13, in New Brockton. Brown had some better news to report this meeting to commissioners regarding COVID positivity and vaccinations.

Coffee County EMA director James Brown delivered slightly more optimistic news Monday morning, Sept. 13, regarding COVID-19 numbers as he spoke at the Coffee County Commission meeting.

Brown said there had been a slight drop in hospitalizations in the local area; however, he said the community is still way over capacity for available ICU beds. Therefore, he said this remains a high concern for officials.

Brown also noted the COVID positivity rate for the area had dropped some to 22.9 percent. Again, however, he said that is still too high.

“We want that number to be at five percent or less to show there is not a real community transmission,” Brown said.

He added that he feels there will probably be another bump higher with positivity rates coming due to the recent Labor Day holiday. He said rates do seem to go up shortly after a holiday, especially those where large gatherings are popular.

Another positive delivered by Brown to Coffee County Commissioners involved vaccination rates for COVID. He said more people are starting to get vaccinated in Alabama, according to the numbers.

Brown said it was only a slight bump up for the local area, but statewide, the numbers are looking much better. As of Monday morning, he said 51 percent of the eligible population in the state had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine while 40 percent had been fully vaccinated.

“We still have more work to do in our area, however,” Brown said.

He noted, as of Monday’s report, that 37.3 percent of the eligible population in Coffee County had received at least one vaccine dose while 29.78 percent were fully vaccinated.

Brown said it remained too soon to know if the downward trend with positivity rates and hospitalizations would continue. He noted cases seemed to be moving northward in the state.

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