COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to 53 on Monday at East Alabama Medical Center and EAMC-Lanier in Valley, a decline of 29 patients or about 35% over the past week, and the lowest number of COVID patients at EAMC since Aug.12.
Meanwhile, the number of patients on ventilators at EAMC held steady at 18 for the fourth straight day, evidence of the ongoing threat that the Delta variant poses to the community. While COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday returned to the same level as 39 days ago, over that same period of time the number of ventilated patients has increased ninefold.
The pandemic high for COVID hospitalizations at EAMC – 93 patients – occurred on Sept. 4 and has since dropped by 40, a decline of about 43%.
In contrast, the pandemic high for COVID patients on ventilators at EAMC – 26 patients – occurred on Sept. 9 and has since dropped by eight patients, a decline of about 31%.
On Monday, there was a greater concentration of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients at all levels of care at EAMC than a week earlier. In the past seven days the percentage of not fully vaccinated patients has climbed from 81% to 85% for hospitalized patients, from 84% to 89% for ICU patients, and from 81% to 89% for patients on ventilators.
The most common age for ventilated patients was in the 40-49 age group.
As of Sept. 16, according to a report from East Alabama Health, four patients in the 40-49 age group have died of COVID-10 since the beginning of August, and none of them were fully vaccinated. During that same time, 12 people under the age of 60 have died of COVID-19, and none of them were fully vaccinated.
By comparison, 41 patients ages 60 and up have died of COVID-19 in that same period, and 11 of them, or about 27%, were fully vaccinated.
“We have seen some deaths among vaccinated individuals, but much less than the vaccinated population,” said Dr. Michael Roberts, EAMC’s chief of staff and ICU medical director. “… Many of them were of advanced age and had multiple comorbidities which were likely contributors that lessened their odds against this very virulent Delta variant.”
Roberts continued to encourage unvaccinated individuals in the community to get the shot.
“Please simply look at the number of deaths from COVID-19 and see how poor the odds are for patients who are unvaccinated,” he said. “Seemingly healthy people who are unvaccinated can be negatively affected—you see it in the news all the time.
“I’ve learned that COVID doesn’t care how old a person is, what political affiliation they have, or where they got their information. COVID simply looks for its next victim and people who are unvaccinated are much easier targets than those who are vaccinated.”