Covid-19 cases in Lee County continued to climb over the last week, as did hospitalizations at East Alabama Medical Center and EAMC-Lanier, as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down in the area.
Lee County has had 1,245 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the outbreak began in mid-March, with 441, or roughly 35 percent, coming in the last two weeks, as of Thursday morning. Hospitalizations at EAMC have risen from 16 to 22 over the last week, an increase that was expected by local infectious disease experts.
Calls to EAMC's call center also increased, with more than 2,000 calls over the last week, with 676 coming on Monday alone. The positivity rate of those tested is also a concern — 354 people were tested by EAMC last week, with 76, or 21.5 percent, showing positive results. EAMC's hotline can be reached at 528-SICK from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Auburn University Medical Clinic has also seen an increase in testing, with 855 tests returning 92 positive results, which equates to a positivity rate of 10.8 percent.
The rise in cases and hospitalizations comes as many in the community get ready to celebrate Independence Day this weekend.
EAMC and Auburn Mayor Ron Anders have asked residents to adhere to health guidelines and to wear masks in public.
"We ask that you be mindful of your health and the health of those around you," said Anders. "And if wearing a mask is the most appropriate thing because of the people you're around and situation you're in, then please do that."
Anders also reminded residents to follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.