Coroner: 5 dead from COVID-19 at East Alabama Medical Center

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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Saturday afternoon release from Lee County’s Coroner confirms five people have died in the county from COVID-19 at East Alabama Medical Center.

“As of 3:15 p.m., Saturday, Lee County has had five deaths related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). All five have died at East Alabama Medical Center since early Friday morning,” Coroner Bill Harris said.

Harris says two of the deaths were Lee County residents and three were residents from Chambers County.

News 3 will continue to follow this developing story.

Meanwhile,  EAMC’s released this information on Friday: 

• EAMC currently has 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 21 additional patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.  

• Three (3) patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged. 

• Fourteen (14) hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative for the virus.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases by county in EAMC immediate service area 

Lee County – 49

Chambers County – 15

Tallapoosa County – 4

Bullock County – 2

Randolph County – 1 

Russell County – 1

Clay County – 1 

EAMC COVID-19 Testing Statistics

1026 – the # of COVID-19 tests submitted by EAMC

693 – the # of COVID-19 tests that were NEGATIVE

267 – the # of COVID-19 tests that are pending results  

22 – the approximate percentage of tests submitted by EAMC of all tests in Alabama (1026 out of 4755)

7.9 – the percentage of EAMC test kits that have tested positive

A Plea to Churches

As we continue to screen, test and treat patients, we look for patterns that could help define the situation a little better and perhaps provide insight into slowing the spread of COVID-19.  We started with one confirmed case on Sunday, March 15 and we stand at 47 confirmed cases just 11 days later.  Obviously, a lot of tests have been performed here—over 900 as of today—so that perhaps explains why Lee County has the 3rd most confirmed cases in Alabama.  Also, EAMC now has 15 hospitalized patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.  While there are no absolute patterns among the 47 confirmed cases in Lee County, one nugget of information does stand out a little—the last public setting for a sizable number of them was at church.  Not at one church, or churches in one town, but at church in general.  While many churches have moved to online services only—or canceled church services altogether in the interim—there are reports that some still met as recently as last Sunday.  We know that being at church is very sacred to many people, but it’s also a place where people are in very close contact and often greet each other with hugs and handshakes as a ritual.  With that in mind, we again are asking that church members please not gather until our region has been deemed safe for group activities.  Please find alternate ways to worship and stay together as a “church” without congregating.  Thank you very much.  

528-SICK Hotline

Hours for our 334-528-SICK screening hotline are 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Specimen collection will continue daily at HealthPlus and at EAMC-Lanier, but is based on available supplies.  As a reminder, appointments can only be made through the 334-528-SICK hotline. For more information about when to seek screening, visit eamc.org/coronavirus. 

Supplies Needed and How to Donate

We are asking businesses that have access to the following items to please consider donating them in the coming days:

• Isolation gowns: non-sterile, impervious

• Masks: surgical, procedure, earloop, earloop with face shield, or fog-free procedure mask

• Latex gloves: exam, nitrile or chemo

• Hand sanitizer: 70% ethyl alcohol

Businesses may bring these items to the collection site outside of EAMC’s Main Lobby between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each weekday. An EAMC representative will be there to collect the supplies.

Shelter in Place at Home 

EAMC is asking everyone to shelter in place at home. Sheltering in place means you stay at home with immediate family members only and should not leave your home except for essential activities such as food, medical care, or work. You should not host gatherings of people outside of your immediate family. You should also maintain a 6-foot distance from other people as much as possible, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time, and frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces.


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