HOSPITALIZATIONS REACH LOWEST TOTAL IN 13 DAYS
On Thursday, the combined number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at EAMC and EAMC-Lanier was 49, the lowest total since 50 hospitalizations on July 18. While the number did bounce back up to 52 today, hospital officials are optimistic about the overall trend since peaking with 62 confirmed cases on July 22.
“We feel like this could be the trend we have been waiting on since the mask mandate went into effect on July 16,” stated John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman. “Knowing the mask mandate has been extended through August 31 gives us hope that the virus can once again become somewhat contained. Of course, there are still many unknowns at play with schools at every level returning in August and the uncertainty of how athletics at various levels could impact the level of disease in the community.”
LOCAL COVID-19 NEWS
Atkinson says the hospital has felt strongly about providing updates to the public since the outset of the pandemic in east Alabama. “It was clear from the very beginning that COVID-19 could easily impact one area of the nation or state, but not others. If our community only heard statewide statistics on COVID-19 in March and April, that would not have been a complete picture. East Alabama had widespread cases then, while Montgomery was pretty quiet. In May, it was just the opposite.
“We can only report on how things are around here,” says Atkinson. “While hospitals and states generally report their cases and deaths the same way, there are certainly mild differences that can make it difficult to compare at times. We do our best to answer reasonable questions and have reasonable dialogue, but some topics we just have to comment on and then leave it at that. We will continue to provide local statistics and information, but we will not enter into a debate on science. We will leave the science of treatment up to our trusted medical professionals here who are leading our efforts.”
528-SICK CALL VOLUMES CONTINUE TO DECLINE
As noted on Wednesday’s update, the general trajectory of the 528-SICK call volumes since the mask mandate was put into place by Governor Kay Ivey has been downward. On July 14, the call center received 617 calls, the lowest total between July 6 – 22. Now, only one of the past six business days has seen more than 617 calls, and it was only 620. We will have testing volumes and positivity rates for July to share on Monday.
COLLEGE STUDENT COVID-19 TESTING NOT AVAILABLE
Most colleges and universities throughout Alabama are requiring students to be tested for COVID-19 before the fall semester begins. However, it’s important to know that students CANNOT be tested by going through EAMC’s 528-SICK call center as it is strictly for people who are currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or have experienced direct/close contact with a known positive.
Instead, there are dedicated testing sites for this requirement located around the state, including one at Beard-Eaves Coliseum on the AU campus, and testing will begin Monday, August 3. However, students must have an appointment to be tested.
Complete information regarding COVID-19 for Auburn and Southern Union students can be found at the links below:
Southern Union State Community College
For complete Alabama COVID-19 information by county, please visit this ADPH link: https://covid19.alabama.gov/#live-updates