As of Aug. 16, there were only two Intensive Care Unit beds available to COVID-19 patients in Alabama, according to an East Alabama Health press release. There were 2,631 hospitalizations across the state — the most seen since January.
Of the currently hospitalized patients across the state, 749 were in the ICU, of which 462 were on ventilators, according to the Alabama Hospital Association. There were 40 hospitalized pediatric patients, including some on ventilators.
The AHA reported 945 hospital ventilators available — the lowest amount since Feb. 1.
East Alabama Medical Center spokesman John Atkinson said that officials are preparing for further hospitalizations.
“We’re at a very serious point right now as testing supplies are running low in the community, our three Emergency Departments are seeing long waits, and our Covid Infusion Center is running 12 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Atkinson said. “We cannot say it strongly enough that people who are eligible to receive a vaccine need to get one as soon as possible. The situation will only get worse until we have a much larger percentage of our population vaccinated.”
On Aug. 16, EAMC had 57 COVID hospitalizations, with 46 of these patients being unvaccinated. Eight are fully vaccinated and the remaining three are partially vaccinated.
“Hospitals cannot keep up this pace,” Atkinson said. “Resources are running low and personnel to care for patients are stretched very thin.”
27 of the 57 patients are ages 60 and older. 16 are between the ages of 50 and 59; five are between 40 and 49; six are between 30 and 39 and three are between 20 and 29.
Between July 27 and Aug. 15, the Pediatric Clinic in Opelika and Auburn has seen 276 children ages 18 and younger test positive for COVID-19, which is more than all 24 weeks prior. The clinic is reporting a roughly 20% positivity rate.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.
Charlie Ramo, junior in aerospace engineering, is the content editor of The Auburn Plainsman.