Hospitalizations of patients with Covid-19 at East Alabama Medical Center reached a new pandemic peak this week as the novel coronavirus continues to surge across the county, state and nation.
On Sunday, hospitalizations at EAMC reached 64, topping the previous peak of 62 in late July. The number of patients on ventilators has also jumped, reaching 11 this week. As of Wednesday morning, 54 patients were hospitalized at EAMC and EAMC-Lanier.
"The census does fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s possible we went a little higher at some point, but our pattern throughout the pandemic has been to report our daily census as the number that the Bed Board gives us around 9 a.m. each day,” stated John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman.
Covid-19 has been sweeping across Alabama. As of Tuesday, the state has reported close to 330,000 total cases of Covid-19, roughly 31,000 hospitalizations and more than 4,450 deaths.
As of Tuesday morning, Lee County has had 9,490 patients with Covid-19, with 1,226 or about 13 percent of total cases coming in the last 14 days. Lee County has also seen its reported deaths from Covid-19 rise to 73.
The positivity rate of Covid testing at EAMC has also been climbing, reaching 17.3 percent last week, the highest rate since early September.
Last week, EAMC President and CEO Laura Grill said the greatest gift healthcare workers could receive this holiday season is one of "extra precaution."
"Our hospital staff members and physicians have worked hard for nine months with few breaks, and they are rightfully tired at this point in the pandemic as cases and hospitalizations peak once again,” she said. “Not only do we need everyone wearing masks, but we ask that they be worn properly, meaning to cover both the mouth and the nose. That’s because studies continue to show masks as one of the best tools to use in preventing the spread of the virus.
“While we’re envisioning a light at the end of the tunnel by way of the new vaccines, it will be several months before they are available for the general public.”