OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) officials said they’ve been seeing a decline in the number of positive and pending COVID-19 patients in the hospital and also a decline in the number of patients on ventilators.
The hospital’s infection prevention director, Brooke Bailey, said this means things like social distancing and staying at home have made real, tangible impacts. But she also said it doesn’t mean the area is in the clear yet.
Todd Blackmon is a coronavirus success story in East Alabama.
“I kid around with people here. They say they’re going to get me a shirt that says #coronasurvivor," he said.
He battled the virus for days at the end of March. Now, the soon-to-be nurse practitioner said he’s grateful to be healthy and back to work.
“It’s a good feeling that I got the virus and I was able to get over it and get back to doing what I do,” he said. “I love to take care of people and that’s why I went in this business. And I couldn’t be out there taking care of folks and helping there on the front lines like I normally can.”
Blackmon is one of hundreds of people in Lee County that tested positive for COVID-19.
But officials with EAMC said these numbers are on a downward trend.
“We know that staying at home and social distancing has actually made an impact on the number of cases that are in our community and the number of cases that come into our hospital everyday,” Bailey said.
This week, the hospital announced they’re seeing the lowest number of positive and pending COVID-19 patients in the hospital since the beginning of April.
Hospital officials said this is good news, but it doesn’t mean we’re done with COVID-19.
“This is far from over,” Bailey said. “We still have patients who are admitted everyday who test positive for COVID. We still have people being tested everyday in our community.”
That’s why Blackmon and EAMC urge the public to still follow social distancing guidelines and stay home as much as possible.
“It’s the real deal,” Blakmon said. “It’s a real virus. I’ve heard a lot people say, ‘Oh it’s just like the flu.’ It’s not. It’s a lot worse than the flu. And I think if we go running back to our lives real quick, we’re going to see another spike.”