Covid-19 hospitalizations at East Alabama Medical Center have dropped sharply over the last week, reaching the lowest level in more than a month.
After hovering between 30 and 40 cases for the better part of a month, hospitalizations at EAMC and EAMC-Lanier fell to 24 as of Tuesday evening, the lowest count at the hospital in six weeks. Five patients are currently on ventilators.
EAMC spokesman John Atkinson said the lower case count in the community helps keep the number of hospitalizations down. Lee County has had 307 new cases of Covid-19 over the past 14 days, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. As of Tuesday evening, the county has had 6,449 cases (4,219 confirmed, 2,230 probable) since the pandemic began. The 14- and 7-day moving averages in Lee County have basically leveled out over the last month after reaching a pandemic peak during late July/early August.
"That points to a belief that people in the community are following the key guidelines of social distancing, wearing a mask when unable to social distance and washing their hands," said Atkinson of the lower case count in the community. "Alabama is one of the few states with cases that are flat or declining, but with many states in the U.S. seeing significant increases, it’s important to remain vigilant in the colder months ahead when people spend more time together indoors."
The positivity rate of testing at EAMC has declined for the seventh-straight week, and currently sits at 6.5 percent, down from a high of 38.5 percent the week of Aug. 24-28.
The number of new cases of Covid-19 at Auburn University also continued to drop, with only 11 cases reported the week ending Oct. 18. The number of new cases at the university has stayed below 25 a week for about a month.
Auburn University Medical Clinic Director Dr. Fred Kam encouraged students to continue wearing masks, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and limiting interactions with people not in their social bubble.
"We're still pretty low," said Kam of Lee County's Covid-19 numbers. "Across the state, there are signs that there are new cases that are staring to bump up."
Kam stressed the importance of wearing masks in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
Auburn City Schools continued its successful battle against Covid-19, reporting only three new cases during the week of Oct. 12-16, with 26 students and staff members entering quarantine protocol.