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Commissioner at EAMC with COVID-19; English asks voters to wear masks Tuesday

Commissioner at EAMC with COVID-19; English asks voters to wear masks Tuesday

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Lee County Commissioner Johnny Lawrence is in intensive care at East Alabama Medical Center, the latest public official diagnosed with COVID-19.

Lawrence’s hospitalization was revealed at Monday night’s regular commissioners’ meeting by Lee County Probate Judge Bill English, who chairs the commission. Lawrence apparently started showing symptoms a week ago and was admitted to EAMC Sunday morning, English said.

“Keep Johnny in your prayers,” Commissioner Robert Ham asked meeting attendees. “He’s doing a little better today, I hear.”

The Opelika-Auburn News reached Lawrence by phone Monday night. He said he was “doing fine” and has been well looked after by the hospital’s staff. He said the hospital stay has opened his eyes to just how serious the COVID-19 pandemic has become.

“I really want to ask people to please be safe and take care of themselves … (face) masks may not be 100%, but they give you a good chance,” said Lawrence, a retired Auburn city firefighter.

Voting Tuesday

English also reminded meeting attendees that county polling sites will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for the Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Doug Jones. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is running against Jeff Sessions, who held that Senate seat for 20 years before joining the Trump administration in 2017 as U.S. Attorney General.

The judge expects “less than 5,000 voters to turn out,” thanks to the coronavirus spike and temperatures in the 90s. Voting will take place at all the same sites as the March primary, in which Tuberville easily beat Sessions in Lee County – despite a much closer race statewide.

“Absentee ballots are up, but please go out and vote tomorrow,” English said.

Anyone with questions about Tuesday’s primary should call 334-737-3671 or visit

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