Since Friday, coronavirus-related hospitalizations at the East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) and EAMC-Lanier have increased from 11 to 23 as of Wednesday, officials with East Alabama Health said.
“This is a definite concern and loosely mirrors what is happening across Alabama,” John Atkinson, a spokesman with East Alabama Health, said in a statement.
Alabama currently ranks last in the United States in terms of vaccinated residents, and officials with EAMC said states with low vaccination rates are being hit the hardest by the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more contagious and has more the tendency to cause severe symptoms than its counterpart.
“The majority of our hospitalizations are people who have not been vaccinated, but we are seeing a few ‘breakthrough cases’ where people who are vaccinated are having to be hospitalized,” Atkinson said in the statement. “The vaccine cannot completely eliminate the chance of someone being infected with COVID, but it can decrease the risk of developing severe disease and decrease the odds of needing hospitalization.”
Infection Prevention Director for East Alabama Health Brooke Bailey said vaccination was still the best way to combat the spread of COVID-19 and urged those who are currently unvaccinated to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
Bailey also urged members of the community to take other precautions to prevent coronavirus infection for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“Everyone — including those who are vaccinated — should be wearing a mask when they are unable to socially distance themselves, especially while indoors,” Bailey said in a statement. “And we need people to seriously think about limiting their social interactions at this time as we are hearing about a lot of cases spread among family members and friends. We need to take this situation seriously so that it doesn’t spread exponentially.”
The following is a list of locations selected by EAMC to receive COVID-19 vaccines in Auburn and Opelika:
American Family Urgent Care (Auburn): 1902 S. College St., Auburn
American Family Urgent Care (Opelika): 2544 Enterprise Dr., Opelika
Auburn University Medical Clinic: 400 Lem Morrison Dr., Auburn
Auburn Urgent Care: 1650A S. College St., Auburn
East Alabama Medical Center: 1716 Opelika Rd., Auburn
Lee County Health Department: 1801 Corporate Dr., Opelika
Sam’s Club: 2335 Bent Creek Rd., Auburn
Thomas Pharmacy: 1713 Pepperell Pkwy., Opelika
Walmart (Auburn) 2047 E. University Dr., Auburn; 1810 Shug Jordan Pkwy., Auburn; or 1717 S. College St., Auburn