EAMC Update on the Decline of COVID-19 Hositalizations

Today finds EAMC with 46 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and eight of them on ventilators. While that is a decline from previous days, John Atkinson, hospital spokesman, says the number is still concerning. “We started July with 24 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and only one on a ventilator. Exactly three weeks later, on July 22, we had 62 patients with COVID-19 and eight on ventilators. That shows you how quickly this virus can get out of hand. And why we must respect it.”
The decline has been a mixture of fewer admissions as well as patients who have been discharged home to recover. Deaths attributed to COVID-19, such as Lee County Commissioner Johnny Lawrence who passed on Friday, also play a role. “This virus has been extremely taxing on patients and staff alike. We grieve when a patient is lost. We know it is heartbreaking for the families, and our doctors and staff take it very personal as well.”   
Two full weeks have now passed since the mask mandate for Alabama went into effect on July 16. For the week of July 20-24, EAMC’s 528-SICK call center saw 3532 calls, but the volume dropped to 2274 for July 27-31. Likewise, testing volumes dipped from 749 in the first week after the mandate to 612 last week. Lastly, the number of positive cases declined from 127 to 93.     
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 Memorial Coliseum on the AU campus, and testing will begin tomorrow, August 4. 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:
Auburn University
Southern Union State Community College