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New COVID-19 case daily average in Lee County doubles, but hospitalizations still lower
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New COVID-19 case daily average in Lee County doubles, but hospitalizations still lower

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in Lee County is rapidly on the rise, according to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The department confirmed 102 new COVID-19 cases in the county on Sunday, the highest total of new cases in a single day during the past two weeks and one of the highest totals since the pandemic hit the county.

There were 3,348 total confirmed cases and 48 virus-related deaths in Lee County as of Monday night, according to ADPH data.

The number of new cases confirmed per day in Lee County has been on the rise during the past two weeks. The county is averaging about 39 new COVID-19 cases per day during that timeframe. Lee County was averaging 18 new cases per day this time last week.

Despite the increase of new cases in the community, East Alabama Medical Center hospitalizations continue to decline. There were 25 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Monday and Sunday was the lowest total of patients, 24, since July 1, according to the hospital.

“This decrease is great news, and we are cautiously optimistic for the weeks ahead,” John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman, said. “We have been through two peaks in the past six months. Everyone has much more experience now. I believe not only have we learned clinically from those situations, but I believe the community has learned better how to avoid transmission. As a result, social distancing and masking are taken more seriously than earlier in the pandemic.”

However, Atkinson added that hospital officials expect to see an increase of hospitalizations in the coming days due to the rise in new cases in the community, though they are hopeful the number of hospitalizations won’t reach another peak.

“According to the ADPH website, Lee County has shown a rise in new cases over the past week,” said Atkinson. “There will likely be somewhat of an increase in hospitalizations in the next 10-14 days, but hopefully it will be much smaller than last time. Ideally, we would remain below 40 hospitalizations. I think we would consider that a success.”

Auburn City Schools

Auburn City Schools reported nine cases of COVID-19 to ADPH during the third week of school. There are 89 student who must complete a 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure, Auburn City Schools announced Sunday night.

The school system reminds parents that they are the first line of defense when it comes to COVID-19.

“As students and teachers continue to practice preventative measures through the use of facial coverings, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene at school, we ask that parents and guardians remain the first line of defense with daily screenings of symptoms related to COVID-19,” a statement from Auburn City Schools reads.

Auburn City Schools reported that five students had tested positive for the virus during the second week of the school year. An additional 30 students were quarantined due to close contact exposure.

Area numbers

The number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed per day in east Alabama remains steady.

ADPH confirmed five cases in Chambers County, three in Macon County, 13 in Russell County and six in Tallapoosa County on Sunday. There were 873 confirmed cases in Chambers County, 396 in Macon County, 1,548 in Russell County and 930 in Tallapoosa County as of Monday evening, according to ADPH.

The following is the average number of new cases confirmed in east Alabama counties over the past 14 days:

  • Chambers County — 2
  • Macon County — 4
  • Russell County — 8
  • Tallapoosa County — 3

There were 117,152 confirmed cases and 2,083 virus-related deaths in Alabama as of Monday night, according to ADPH.

Of the 2,083 reported deaths, 39 are from Chambers County, 17 from Macon County, two from Russell County and 81 from Tallapoosa County.

Auburn University will update its COVID-19 numbers Tuesday morning.

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