The number of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and hospitalizations at East Alabama Medical Center have held relatively steady over the last week, as the area seems to have avoided a sharp spike in both stemming from the Labor Day holiday weekend.
As of Tuesday evening, Lee County has had 5,971 cases of Covid-19, 3,918 of which have been confirmed. The county has also seen 50 confirmed deaths from Covid-19, with another 11 deaths listed as probable, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The three- and seven-day moving averages have also held steady — Lee County added about 28 cases a day over the past week.
EAMC and EAMC-Lanier have also avoided a large spike in hospitalizations, with the number of patients admitted staying below 40, which hospital officials considered a success. As of Tuesday evening, 32 patients were hospitalized at EAMC with Covid-19. Patients on ventilators has ticked upward, though, with six patients currently intubated.
"We would welcome another downward trend right now, but staying in a medium range is definitely better than seeing a spike," said John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman.
The positivity rate from Covid-19 testing at EAMC has continued to decline over the past month. Last week, EAMC saw 48 positive cases out of 368 tests, for a positivity rate of 13 percent, down sharply from the rate of 38.5 percent that EAMC reported for the week of Aug. 24-28.
The moving averages in Alabama have followed a similar trend as Lee County, and have relatively plateaued over the past month. As of Tuesday evening, the state has reported more than 150,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with just over 14,000 coming in the last two weeks.
With the relative improvement of the Covid situation in the state, the Alabama Beverage Control Board rescinded its 11 p.m. curfew for alcohol sales at restaurants and bars during an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The order to rescind the curfew, which has been in place since last July, went into effect immediately.
"Our goal all along has been to relieve these restricted hours as soon as we could do so safely," said ABC Board Chairman Alan Spencer, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. "We recognize full well this not only impacted bar owners and their employees, but their customers as well."
The lifting of the curfew was welcome news to bar owners in downtown Auburn, with many opting to immediately extend their hours back to the normal 2 a.m. closing time.
The ABC Board still requires that establishments serving alcohol adhere to the limit of 50 percent capacity, the mask mandate for patrons and employees, and social distancing requirements, among other regulations.
Any ABC licensee found to be in violation of the emergency order risks the immediate suspension of its ABC license, according to the order.