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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn and the coronavirus: Live updates

<p>This illustration, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.</p>

This illustration, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.

The disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, is bringing unprecedented impacts. Local officials — from nearby hospitals, the University and city governments — are taking rare precautions as the disease spreads. Below is a collection of news gathered by The Plainsman's staff. It will update as events warrant.


Click here for information about symptoms and other resources regarding COVID-19.


Coronavirus live updates for Auburn-Opelika area:

May 15, 1:32 p.m. — City of Auburn announces plans to reopen facilities by June 1

  • The City of Auburn announced a phased reopening of all City facilities in a press release on Friday.
  • All facilities will be opened by June 1.
  • The City does not yet have a plan for the reopening, but details will be announced over the coming days.

May 8, 12:12 p.m. — Gov. Kay Ivey amends safer-at-home order with some reopenings

Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the 2019 state of the state address before a joint session of the Alabama Legislature in the Old House Chambers of the Alabama State Capitol on March 5, 2019.


  • In a press conference on Friday morning, Gov. Kay Ivey amended Alabama's safer-at-home order to reopen more businesses on Monday, May 11 in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
  • The 10-person limit on non-work gatherings has been removed, but people of different households are encouraged to continue remaining six feet apart.
  • Restaurants may open at 50% occupancy with a six-foot spacing between tables.
  • Barber shops, hair and nail salons may open with some restrictions as developed by the Alabama State Board of Cosmetology.
  • Gyms, athletic facilities and fitness classes may resume operations with "intense cleaning methods and social distancing," Ivey said.
  • Ivey shared that the state hopes to announce the next phase of reopening by the middle of next week.

May 1, 4:06 p.m. — EAMC COVID-19 census and ventilator use update

 April 30, 10:37 p.m. — 391 cases, 29 reported deaths in Lee County; 7,068 total cases in Alabama 

April 30, 6:02 p.m. — Coronavirus in AU: 12 students, 10 employees test positive in April


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April 30, 1:07 p.m. — University announces ways it will recognize spring graduates

Samford Hall in Auburn, Ala.


  • Though commencement for spring 2020 graduates has been postponed until August, Auburn University will still recognize these students virtually.
  • “We are proud of this graduating class and appreciate their resilience throughout the many uncertainties and challenges resulting from this global pandemic,” said Provost Bill Hardgrave. “It is important that we recognize their scholarly achievements and do all we can to honor their hard work.”
  • On Auburn's commencement website, spring graduates have the opportunity to contribute a personal photo from their years spent at Auburn that will come together to form a mosaic image of the University's logo.
  • The website also allows graduates to take photos with virtual backgrounds of Samford and Langdon Hall.

April 29, 10:41 p.m. — 386 cases in Lee County; 6,925 total in Alabama; 28 reported deaths

April 28, 9:11 p.m. — 377 cases in Lee County; 6,750 total in Alabama; 25 reported deaths

April 28, 12:10 p.m. — Alabama stay-at-home order will expire; 'Safer at Home' order to begin April 30 at 5 p.m.

Gov. Kay Ivey has extended the statewide mask mandate until the end of August

  • Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday morning that Alabama's stay-at-home order will expire April 30, the original end date of the order. The state will then enter a "Safer at Home" order on April 30 at 5 p.m.
  • Under the new safer at home order, all retail businesses are able to reopen at 50% capacity and should enforce social distancing guidelines at all times. 
  • All gatherings should be limited to 10 people or fewer. Any gatherings where social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between people cannot be met are prohibited, Ivey said. 
  • Alabamians are encouraged to wear face coverings and urged to practice proper handwashing and other common-sense hygiene practices, Ivey said. 

April 28, 9:45 a.m. — Monday marked lowest number of hospitalizations since April 2

  • EAMC reports that Monday marked the lowest number of confirmed and pending COVID-19 hospitalizations since April 2.


April 27, 9:50 p.m. — 368 cases in Lee County; 6,539 total in Alabama; 24 deaths

April 27, 5:45 p.m. — Auburn University extends operational modifications through June 30

  • Operational modifications put in place by Auburn University to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been extended through June 30, 2020, the University announced in email on Monday. The modifications include things like the cancelation of all University events and working from home for University employees that are able, the University said.
  • The original May 9 end date for the modifications was tentative, the University said.
  • All University events are canceled through June 30. 

April 26, 10:28 p.m. — 365 cases in Lee County; 6,421 total in Alabama; 24 deaths

April 25, 10:36 p.m. — 358 cases in Lee County; 6,213 total in Alabama

  • As of Saturday night, there are 358 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 6,213 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The ADPH also reports 23 deaths in Lee County because of COVID-19.

April 24, 7:01 p.m. — After slight dip, EAMC again sees increased hospitalizations

  • After a 5-day decline in cases just before Easter, EAMC said it's had eight straight days where the number of hospitalized cases have been above that mark. 
  • "With talk of “re-opening” in Alabama, the concern is there a risk of a second wave, and perhaps even a new peak, if the social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines are not followed closely," EAMC said in a press release.

April 23, 9:38 p.m. — 340 cases in Lee County; 5,832 total in Alabama

  • As of Thursday night, there are 340 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 5,832 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The ADPH also reports 20 deaths in Lee County because of COVID-19. 

April 23, 7:01 p.m. — 44 people hospitalized at EAMC

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 44 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 10 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 78 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 24 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 23, 1:54 p.m. — Auburn to offer tuition payment plan for upcoming academic year

April 22, 10:21 p.m. — 331 cases in Lee County; 5,610 total in Alabama

  • As of Wednesday night, there are 331 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 5,610 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 21, 10:02 p.m. — 319 cases in Lee County; 5,327 total in Alabama

  • As of Tuesday night, there are 319 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 5,327 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 21, 5:28 p.m. — 39 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 39 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 17 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 68 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 16 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 21, 4:37 p.m. — 18 reported deaths in Lee County

  • There are now 18 reported deaths in Lee County related to COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases rises to 318 in the county and to 5,296 statewide, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.  

April 20, 9:44 p.m. — 311 cases in Lee County; 5,078 cases in Alabama

  • As of Monday night, there are 311 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 5,078 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 20, 6:07 p.m. — EAMC hospitalizations update 

April 20, 4:39 p.m. — AU faculty member dies from COVID-19

Students walking in front of Samford Hall on Wed, Jan. 16, 2019 in Auburn, Ala.
  • An Auburn University faculty member has died from COVID-19 complications, according to Fred Kam, medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic.
  • It's still unknown when the faculty member died and in what department they worked.
  • Kam also said there are nine employees and 11 students who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On April 7, there were five students and four employees who had tested positive.
  • Kam said no students or employees are currently hospitalized because of the coronavirus.

April 20, 10:10 a.m. — 14 reported deaths in Lee County

  • There are now 14 deaths in Lee County related to COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases rises to 307 in the county and to 4,946 statewide, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 19 11:31 p.m. — 307 cases in Lee County; 4,903 total in Alabama

  • As of Saturday night, there are 308 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 4,903 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 18, 10:22 p.m. — 306 cases in Lee County; 4,723 total in Alabama

  • As of Saturday night, there are 306 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 4,723 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 17, 6:18 p.m. — EAMC says number of coronavirus-related calls is decreasing; hours changing for COVID-19 testing center

East Alabama Medical Center is urging people to stay at home as it increases its testing capabilities and begins to see an increasing number patients for COVID-19. 

  • East Alabama Medical Center reported that the number of calls the hospital receives on its 528-SICK hotline has steadily dropped from 700-1000 calls a day to around 400 calls a day. 
  • The 528-SICK call center will close at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and then start a new set of hours on Saturday.  
  • The new hours for 334-528-SICK will be the following: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
  • The testing sites at HealthPlus in Auburn and EAMC-Lanier in Valley will be closed this weekend and reopen on Monday, April 20.
  • People who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call 334-528-SICK during the hours stated above to be screened. 
  • During after hours, individuals should visit the nearest emergency department to be screened for the virus and then tested if certain criteria are met.

April 16, 11:36 p.m. — 294 cases in Lee County; 4,404 total in Alabama

  • As of Thursday night, there are 294 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 4,404 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 16, 5:24 p.m. — 57 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

The East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala., on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.


  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 57 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 12 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 60 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 17 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 15, 9:31 p.m. — 285 cases in Lee County; 4,241 total in Alabama

  • As of Wednesday night, there are 285 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 4,241 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 15, 3:10 p.m. — 12 deaths in Lee County

  • There are now 12 deaths in Lee County related to COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases rises to 275 in the county and to 4,113 statewide, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

April 15, 9:50 a.m. — 266 cases in Lee County; 4,006 total in Alabama

April 14, 8:56 p.m. — 265 cases in Lee County; 3,953 total in Alabama

  • As of Tuesday night, there are 265 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 3,953 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 14, 5:43 p.m. — 48 people hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 48 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 11 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 47 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 20 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 14, 4:01 p.m. — Student services fees being waived for summer 2020 semester

The Auburn Recreation and Wellness Center, voted best gym in Auburn, AL.
  • Auburn University announced it will waive student services fees for students enrolled in summer 2020 courses, saving them up to $838.
  • These fees provide for organizations, on-campus programs, recreation, transportation, student governance and various other student-related projects and are assessed each semester, according to the University.
  • Registration for the summer 2020 semester is open through May 20, and students can register for one of three sessions.

April 14, 2:46 p.m. — 10 reported deaths in Lee County

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting 10 deaths in Lee County related to COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases rises to 259 in the county and to 3,876 statewide. 

April 13, 9:24 p.m. — 250 cases in Lee County; 3,803 total in Alabama

  • As of Monday night, there are 250 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 3,803 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 13, 2 p.m. — Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller extends closure of city buildings

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller is currently serving his fifth consecutive term.

  • Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller signed an executive order on Monday that will extend the closure of all city buildings and facilities until April 30. 
  • "The purpose of the new executive order is to prevent crowding at retail and grocery stores in order to protect the health of citizens in Opelika," Fuller said in a statement.
  • Violations of the order are punishable as a misdemeanor.


April 13, 9:52 a.m. — 241 cases in Lee County; 3,616 total in Alabama

April 12, 11:45 p.m. — 236 cases in Lee County; 3,583 total in Alabama

April 12, 1:50 p.m. — 231 cases in Lee County; 3,479 total in Alabama

April 11, 9:47 p.m. — 221 cases in Lee County; 3,262 total in Alabama

  • As of Saturday night, there are 221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 3,262 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 11, 3:14 p.m. — 218 cases in Lee County; 3,191 total in Alabama

April 10, 9:46 p.m. — 215 cases in Lee County; 3,008 total in Alabama

  • As of Friday night, there are 215 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 3,008 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 10, 5:21 p.m. — AU graduate school waiving admission exam requirements

  • The Graduate Record Examinations and the Graduate Management Admission Test will not be required for acceptance into most graduate programs in summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021, the University announced.
  •  Some programs will require exams because of federal or accreditation guidelines, but graduates are encouraged to email the graduate admissions office at gradadm@auburn.edu for information on their specific program.

April 10, 4:49 p.m. — 51 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 51 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 21 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 37 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 18 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 10, 3:15 p.m. — Coroner deploys back-up morgue for use in 'worst case scenario'

Coroner Bill Harris speaks during a press conference on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Beauregard, Ala.
  • Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said East Alabama Medical Center requested he deploy a "disaster morgue trailer" in the event that the hospital's morgue becomes overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Harris made the request through the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.
  • The trailer can hold up to 18 bodies, according to Harris.
  • "[The morgue] was strictly deployed in the event of a worst-case scenario if the hospital morgue becomes overwhelmed during the COVID 19 crisis we are in right now," Harris said in a press release. "We pray that its use is not needed."

April 10, 2:30 p.m. — Camp War Eagle 2020 sessions to be hosted virtually

The University aims to ensure that its "goals remain the same" during the virtual orientation.

  • The University's First Year Experience Office is moving all CWE sessions online as campus events have been cancelled through June 30.
  • Registration through AU Access opens on April 29 at 1 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and students have the option to choose between one of eight sessions.
  • The University is hoping to hold an one-day, on-campus session in July to welcome freshmen to campus, but this decision depends on COVID-19 conditions. FYE has yet to determine if a parent and family orientation will take place or how it would be administered.

April 9, 11:17 p.m. — 206 confirmed cases; 2838 total cases in Alabama

  • As of Thursday night, there are 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 2,838 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 9, 5:52 p.m. — 6 reported deaths in Lee County

  • A sixth death related to COVID-19 was reported in Lee County by the Alabama Department of Public Health on Thursday.

April 9, 4:13 p.m. — 204 cases in Lee County; 2,769 total in Alabama

  • As of Thursday afternoon, there are 204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 2,769 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 9, 3:26 p.m. — University cancels campus events through June 30

  • Auburn University has canceled all campus events through June 30 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The University had initially canceled events through May. 

April 9, 8:54 a.m. — 190 cases in Lee County; 2,547 total in Alabama

April 8, 8:47 p.m. — 190 cases in Lee County; 2,499 total in Alabama

  • As of Wednesday night, there are 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 2,499 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

April 8, 5:41 p.m. — 43 people hospitalized at EAMC

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 43 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 18 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 31 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 16 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 8, 8:36 a.m. — 135 cases, five dead in Lee County; 2,229 total cases in Alabama

  • There are now five reported deaths in Lee County related to COVID-19, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state has 2,229 total confirmed cases, 135 of which are in Lee County.
  • There are 65 reported deaths in Alabama, per ADPH.

April 7, 8:46 p.m. — 133 cases in Lee County; 2,197 total in Alabama

  • As of Tuesday night, there are 133 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 2,197 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

April 7, 6:23 p.m. — Five students, four employees test positive for coronavirus

The Auburn University Medical Clinic on Saturday, Dec 10, 2017.

  • Five students and four Auburn University employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and of those, one student and two employees have been hospitalized, according to Fred Kam, medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic.
  • There are also an additional five employees who have presumptive positive cases because they have symptoms and their household members are already known to be positive for the disease, according to Kam.

April 7, 6:05 p.m. — EAMC removes first patient from ventilation and ICU


April 7, 2:32 p.m. — University Housing postpones early-move outs

Lowdell Sand helps his daughter, Hallie Sand, pack as they prepare to drive back home to Dallas, Texas, on Sunday, March 15.
  • University Housing announced on its website that it is suspending early move-out days until a "later date" on account of Gov. Kay Ivey's stay-at-home order.
  • In the meantime, students' items will remain in their rooms until move-out days can be rescheduled for future weekends.
  • Those with extenuating circumstances or existing travel plans are asked to contact housing@auburn.edu to discuss individual matters.

April 7, 12:08 p.m. — 121 cases in Lee County, 2,063 total in Alabama

April 6, 8:16 p.m. — 118 cases in Lee County, 2,006 total in Alabama

  • As of Monday night, there are 118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 2,006 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

April 6, 7:45 p.m. — 34 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19 

  • East Alabama Medical Center reports that 34 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, plus an additional 22 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • 26 people who were hospitalized have been discharged, and 17 people who were suspected of having COVID-19 have since received a negative test result.

April 6, 4:34 p.m. — Opelika mayor signs executive order limiting number of customers at retail, grocery stores

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller gave his sixth Mayoral Address on Friday afternoon.

  • Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller signed an executive order that limits the number of customers allowed in retail and grocery stores. The order will do the following:

— Allow for no more than 20% of the stated fire capacity in the store at a time. 

— Require stores to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce this as the emergency maximum occupancy.

— Clearly mark 6 foot spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas and consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside. 

— Consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks and encourage flow in high-density areas of stores.

— Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.

— Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout.

April 6, 1:17 p.m. — 113 cases in Lee County, 1,927 total in Alabama

April 5, 9:19 p.m. — 110 cases in Lee County, 1,841 total in Alabama

April 5, 11:05 a.m. — 105 cases in Lee County, 1,676 total in Alabama

This illustration, created at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

  • As of Sunday morning, there 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 1,676 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 4, 9:30 p.m. — 104 cases in Lee County, 1,633 total in Alabama

April 4, 5 p.m. — Stay-at-home order begins in Alabama

April 3, 6:30 p.m. — EAMC releases projections, say 30 are still hospitalized with confirmed cases

  • 30 patients currently hospitalized at EAMC with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.   
  • 16 patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 12 patients are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.
  • 20 patients currently hospitalized who were previously suspected of having COVID-19 but have since received a negative test result.

April 3, 5 p.m. — Gov. Kay Ivey issues stay-at-home-order

Gov. Kay Ivey has extended the statewide mask mandate until the end of August

  • Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday that will be effective beginning on Saturday, April 4 at 5 p.m. and expire on April 30.
  • The order will require people to stay at home as much as they can, expect when leaving for essential outings, which include the following: going to work at critical jobs, doing exercise alone outdoors, getting health care or medicine, buying food and getting groceries.
  • Ivey said the median age of individuals who are infected is 49 and that more than 200 Alabama health care workers are infected.

April 3, 11 a.m. — 96 cases in Lee County, 1,336 total in Alabama

April 2, 9:22 p.m. — 91 cases in Lee County, 1,270 in Alabama

  • As of Thursday night, there are 91 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 1,270 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 2, 3:57 p.m. — 91 cases in Lee County, 1,233 in Alabama

April 2, 8:56 a.m. — 85 cases in Lee County, 1,116 in Alabama

April 1, 9:20 p.m. — 83 cases in Lee County, 1,106 in Alabama

  • As of Wednesday night, there are 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 1,106 total cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

April 1, 5:59 p.m. — 30 hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

East Alabama Medical Center is testing patients for coronavirus at its new drive-thru center.


  • 30 people who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center. There are also 12 people who are hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19, according to EAMC. 

April 1, 1:09 p.m. — 81 cases in Lee County, 1,060 total in Alabama

April 1, 11:21 a.m. — 77 cases in Lee County, 1,013 in Alabama

  • There are 1,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama, 77 of which are in Lee County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. There are 26 reported deaths in Alabama as a result of the virus.

March 31, 8:01 p.m. — 75 cases in Lee County, 999 in Alabama

  • As of Tuesday night, there are 75 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 999 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 31, 7:15 p.m. — Provost's office explains satisfactory, unsatisfactory grading

Toilet paper hangs from a tree in front of Samford Hall on Monday, Nov. 27 in Auburn, Ala.

  • New information shared by the Office of the Provost states that students can convert letter grades to SP, SS or UU in the previously announced alternative grading system.
  • S/U grades do not calculate into GPA and can be applied toward any letter grade for any class, the provost's office said.
  • Students have until June 1 to make conversion requests, and more details describing the process will be released "on or before" April 15, according to the provost's office.

March 31, 8:58 a.m. — 13 deaths confirmed by ADPH

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting 13 deaths in the state. That figure, however, isn't entirely empirical, given Chambers County has five deaths, according to East Alabama Medical Center, but ADPH is only listing three as of 9 a.m.

March 30, 8:40 p.m. — 74 cases in Lee County, 947 in Alabama

  • As of Monday night, there are 74 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 947 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 30, 7:36 p.m. — Seventh death reported at EAMC

  • East Alabama Medical Center reported its seventh death as a result of the coronavirus in its daily briefing, saying two patients were from Lee County and five from Chambers County.

March 30, 6:05 p.m. — City of Auburn extends state of emergency through April 30

City Hall in Auburn, Ala.
  • Following recommendations from the U.S. President, the City extended its state of local emergency to further help reduce the spread of the COVID-19, the City announced.
  • Non-essential and non-emergency travel is strongly discouraged from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • The closure of several City buildings and facilities has been extended to April 30. The full list of closures can be found here
  • Auburn 2040 has been postponed until further notice.

March 30, 11:53 a.m. — 60 cases in Lee County, 837 in Alabama

  • There are 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 837 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 29, 4:57 p.m. — 59 cases in Lee County, 827 in Alabama

  • As of Sunday afternoon, there are 59 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lee County and 827 cases in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

March 29, 4:47 p.m. — Sixth patient dies at EAMC as a result of the coronavirus

  • A sixth patient has died at East Alabama Medical Center as a result of the coronavirus, the hospital announced on Sunday.
  • Four patients were from Chambers county, two were from Lee County.
  • 22 people are currently hospitalized at EAMC with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.   
  • Five people who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • 23 people are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.
  • 25 people who are currently hospitalized and were previously suspected of COVID-19 have since been tested negative for the virus.

March 28, 5:39 p.m. — EAMC reports five COVID-19 deaths

  • East Alabama Medical Center said five patients who tested positive with COVID-19 have died at the hospital.
  • Three patients were from Chambers County and two were from Lee County.
  • As of Saturday afternoon, EAMC said it had 19 patients with confirmed cases and nine with confirmed cases who have been discharged.
  • Lee County has 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 27, 5:36 p.m. — 20 hospitalized at EAMC

  • East Alabama Medical Center said it currently has 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.   
  • Three patients who were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged.
  • There are 21 patients who are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.
  • 14 hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative for the virus.

March 27, 4:39 p.m. — 49 cases in Lee County, 604 in Alabama

  • As of Friday afternoon, there are 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 604 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 27, 3:34 p.m. — Several City recreation facilities closed immediately until April 17

  • In response to Gov. Ivey's announcement of businesses scheduled to close, the City announced the closure of some City facilities.
  • All City of Auburn playgrounds, the Auburn-Opelika Skate Park, the bocce ball court at Martin Luther King Park, the Yarbrough Tennis Center and the Samford Tennis Courts are closed effective immediately until April 17.

March 27, 1:00 p.m. — Gov. Ivey announces list of specific businesses to close until April 17; does not issue shelter-in-place order

  • In a press conference, Gov. Ivey announced that places "where people closely interact with each other and often touch one another will need to temporarily shut their doors." 
  • She did not, however, issue a statewide shelter-in-place order saying "our economy does not need a full shelter-in-place order."


March 27, 12:29 p.m. — AU to combine spring and summer commencement ceremonies


March 27, 12:00 p.m. — University announces remote instruction for summer semester


March 27, 11:00 a.m. — EAMC says church is likely causing COVID-19 to spread

Students are changing their Easter plans since most churches switched to streaming their services online. 

March 26, 6:15 p.m. — 15 hospitalized at EAMC with COVID-19

  • East Alabama Medical Center announced that it currently has 15 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 24 hospitalized with suspected COVID19.
  • 12 hospitalized patients who were previously suspected of COVID-19 have been ruled negative for the virus, according to EAMC.

March 26, 4:14 p.m. — Gov. Kay Ivey says schools will be online only for remainder of school year

Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at Briggs & Stratton about the plant's expansion. Expansion announcement at Briggs & Stratton on Monday, Oct. 30 in Auburn, Ala.


March 26, 3:23 p.m. — 47 cases in Lee County, 501 in Alabama

  • There are 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County as of Thursday afternoon and 501 in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

March 26, 3:20 p.m. — City Council will assist small businesses with loan interest

Auburn City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.


  • The Council approved a resolution allowing the City to utilize municipal funds to help private businesses cover interest payments.
  • This program allows the City to pay the interest or provide interest subsidies for working capital loans made to local businesses severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the resolution. 

March 26, 9:18 a.m. — 44 cases in Lee County, 449 total in Alabama

  • As of Thursday morning, there are 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 449 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 25, 8:27 p.m. — Nine people hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala. on Thursday, June 16, 2016. 


  • East Alabama Medical Center said it has nine people hospitalized with COVID-19. One of them is from a nursing home, according to the hospital. 
  • One person who was previously hospitalized with COVID-19 has been discharged.
  • There are 25 people who are currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, according to EAMC.

March 25, 5:10 p.m. — 40 cases in Lee County; 386 total in Alabama

  • The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased from 29 this morning to 40 this afternoon, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Alabama now has 386 cases total.

March 25, 4:56 p.m. — First death from COVID-19 reported in Alabama

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in collaboration with Colorado State University, this highly magnified, digitally colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image, reveals ultrastructural details at the site of interaction of two spherical shaped, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) viral particles, colorized blue, that were on the surface of a camel epithelial cell, colorized red.

  • The Jackson County Commission announced late Wednesday that one of the county’s part-time employees died from the coronavirus.
  • Tim Guffey, chairman of the Jackson County Commission, said all of the county employees who worked with the individual have been notified and none has reported any COVID-19 symptoms.

March 25, 10:38 a.m. — 29 cases in Lee County, 283 total in the state

  • As of Wednesday morning, there are 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 283 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 24, 7:07 p.m. — Seven people hospitalized at EAMC with confirmed cases of COVID-19

  • East Alabama Medical Center announced that seven people are hospitalized because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and one came from a nursing home.
  • There are also, however, 27 people currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, the hospital announced on Tuesday afternoon.
  • One patient who was hospitalized with COVID-19 has been discharged.

March 24, 7:03 p.m. — AU Housing extends amount of time on-campus students will have to move out

  • In an email sent by Auburn University Housing Director Kevin Hoult to students and obtained by The Plainsman, Hoult said that students can pick up their items from their dorms any weekend between March 27-29 to June 26-28. 
  • On those weekends, he said, residence halls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no longer a need a need for a request form, according to Hoult. For those unable to move-out by June 28, the University will store their items until they can be retrieved at a later date, he said
  • "Our email earlier today about early move-out caused understandable concerns by many of you. Please know that we heard you," Hoult said. "We apologize for the confusion and ask that you please disregard the previous information about move-out dates.

March 24, 4:42 p.m. — 26 cases in Lee County, 242 in Alabama

  • The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County increased from 21 on Tuesday morning to 26 this afternoon, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The total number of cases in Alabama is 242.

March 24, 4:21 p.m. — EAMC doctor urges residents to stay home

  • Ricardo Maldonado, infectious diseases specialist, is the lead expert on EAMC’s COVID-19 response team. On Tuesday, he urged residents to stay home and help EAMC fight the disease.

March 24, 3:41 p.m. — Early move-out days scheduled for on-campus residents

Village dorm buildings on Auburn University’s campus.


March 24, 3:29 p.m. — University refunding remaining housing fees

March 24, 2:04 p.m. — University will refund dining dollars to students

March 24, 12:11 a.m. — AU student tests positive for COVID-19


  • An Auburn University student has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Fred Kam, the medical director for the Auburn University Medical Clinic.
  • "We have a confirmed case from a student who traveled out of the country for spring break," Kam said in an email to The Plainsman.
  • The student "posed no risk" to other students, besides a roommate who is under self quarantine, according to Kam.

March 24, 10:34 a.m. — 21 cases in Lee County; 215 total in Alabama

  • As of Tuesday morning, there are 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 215 total in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • See how many cases each county in Alabama has here.

March 23, 4:42 p.m. — 19 cases in Lee County, 196 total in Alabama

  • As of Monday afternoon, there are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County and 196 total in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 23, 1:40 p.m. — EAMC has sent 500 specimens for testing, but a result is not in for two-thirds of them

  • East Alabama Medical Center said that as of Sunday, more than 500 people have provided specimens for testing. But there are no results yet for two-thirds of those tests because of the delayed turnaround time caused by the large amount of tests that have been submitted.

 

March 23, 11:58 a.m. — Mayor Anders urges residents to stay home as EAMC begins to fill


  • Mayor Ron Anders said residents should stay at home after receiving updates from East Alabama Medical Center CEO Laura Grill on Sunday.
  • “The hospital is starting to fill its beds and its ICU, and so it’s important that we don’t create habits or create dangers to our community that were to put all of us at risk because our hospital is so overrun that we cannot receive the kind of medical attention that we need,” Anders said in a video statement released Monday morning. 
  • Currently, EAMC is performing many tests, but they don't have the results back yet, Anders said.

March 23, 11:11 a.m. — Gov. Kay Ivey extends tax filing date

  • Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Monday that the state income tax filing date has been extended from April 15 to July 15.
  • Taxpayers can also defer state income tax payments due on April 15 to July 15 without penalties or interest.

March 23, 11:04 a.m. — 17 cases in Lee County, 167 total in Alabama

  • A 17th case of COVID-19 in Lee County was confirmed on Monday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health. There are now 167 cases total in the state.

March 23, 10:52 a.m. — EAMC in need of supplies


  • The City of Opelika announced on Monday that East Alabama Medical Center is in need of the following supplies: gowns, masks, goggles, face shields, gloves and hand sanitizer.
  • If you or your business can donate some of the items, call 334-707-7744 or email rose.fabry@eamc.org


March 22, 1:46 p.m. — 16 cases in Lee County, 157 in Alabama

  • The number of confirmed COVID

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