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EAMC records 10 COVID deaths since Sunday, but additional patients keep ventilator count at 23
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EAMC records 10 COVID deaths since Sunday, but additional patients keep ventilator count at 23

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New EAMC photo

This is the entrance to East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to 81 on Wednesday at East Alabama Medical Center and EAMC-Lanier in Valley, after reaching a pandemic high of 93 over the weekend.

The decline was not good news, according to John Atkinson, East Alabama Health spokesman.

“The fact is that we have recorded 10 COVID deaths since Sunday,” Atkinson said, “including two unvaccinated patients younger than 45,” said John Atkinson, East Alabama Health spokesman.

The number of COVID patients on ventilators held steady at 23, but Atkinson said this number was also deceptive because after the 10 deaths early this week, other patients declined to the point where they needed to be placed on ventilators.

“That’s a very sad, difficult cycle that is not good for anyone,” Atkinson said.

Despite the dip on the graph, hospitalizations were still 10 higher than a week ago.

On Wednesday, the most common age group among hospitalized COVID patients was the 70-79 group at 22 patients, followed by 17 patients each in the 60-69 and 50-59 age ranges. The 80-and-up age group had eight patients, compared to nine for patients in their forties, five in their thirties and three in their twenties.

As in past weeks, the majority of the patients at EAMC were unvaccinated. Of the hospitalized COVID patients, 66 of them – or about 81% – were unvaccinated. About 79% of the ICU patients (19 of 24) were unvaccinated, while about 78% of the patients on ventilators (18 of 23) were unvaccinated.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated,” Atkinson said. “In some cases, it’s only a matter of whether you require hospitalization. In other cases, it’s truly a matter of life and death.”

More than a quarter of the ventilated patients – or 6 of 23 – were in their forties, with one patient in the twenties.

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