Auburn University reported a steep drop in new, self-reported COVID-19 cases Tuesday, but that trend could change soon, a doctor warned.
"I was expecting the numbers to go down this week, but I want to be clear it’s not going to last,” said Dr. Fred Kam, who runs the Auburn University Medical Center, during a YouTube briefing Tuesday.
Self-reported cases fell from 598 in the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 6 down to 109 last week. Auburn’s random testing program also saw a drop in positive results, down from 6.4 percent to 1.8 percent. Kam credited mask-wearing and social restrictions across campus as contributors to the lower numbers.
“You can’t see it behind my mask but I’m happy. I’m cautiously optimistic” Kam said. “… People are wearing their masks and doing their health checks.”
Kam is still expecting at least “a slight spike” in COVID-19 cases from Labor Day weekend, as are health officials across the state. He stressed that students, staff and faculty need to continue to follow the university’s A Healthier U protocols.
“We need to be consistent and we need to be committed. If we stick to what has worked and what continues to work, we will position to finishing what is a successful fall semester and getting ourselves ready for the spring,” Kam said.
East Alabama Medical Center's numbers also appear to have leveled off a bit. There were 26 patients hospitalized there with coronavirus Monday, down four from Friday.
All told in Lee County, nine new cases were reported Sunday, bringing the total number of cases reported to 3,622 – up nine cases from last week – and 49 deaths since the outbreak began in March.
Chambers County (864 total cases) and Macon County (421) each reported one new case last week.