COVID-19 hospitalizations are higher than ever at EHA

For the second time in a week, East Alabama Health reported a new all-time high for COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Jan. 18 with 100 patients. This increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 follows a previous high of 96 on Sunday, which surpassed the previous all-time high of 93 on September 4, 2021.

EAH spokesman John Atkinson said of the 100 patients, 80 are over 50 and 60 out of 100 are unvaccinated.

On Monday, only eight patients were on ventilators compared to the Sept. 9 peak, which saw 26 patients on ventilators.

In a news release, Atkinson said pediatric physicians in Lee County reported positivity rates in children were over 40%. At the pediatric clinic, 850 patients tested positive out of 2,117.

Lee County’s current test positivity rate is 44.2%, while Alabama’s positivity rate is 42.6%. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 2,404 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday across the state, including 97 pediatric patients and 41 pregnant women.

Monoclonal antibody infusions have been shown to be effective in 2021 for treating symptomatic patients against Alpha and Delta variants, but the drugs used are not effective against the Omicron variant, Atkinson says, and the new drug – sotrovimab – is in short supply. .

“As a result, the drug is being allocated nationwide and the quantity being provided falls far short of what hospitals need, including here at East Alabama Health,” Atkinson said. “We have received and administered 34 doses over the past month. We are hoping for a small shipment on Thursday, but we have only received 6 doses at a time on previous shipments. At 3 p.m. today, we have not received an order confirmation for this week.


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Laura Grill, president of the EAH, spoke about the state of hospitalizations.

“It goes without saying that this is a milestone that we never wanted or planned to reach,” Grill said. “This level of hospitalizations, coupled with approximately 100 employees currently out of COVID, is creating significant pressure on our staff. But I couldn’t be prouder of our entire East Alabama team for their commitment and stamina. Their resilience over the past 22 months has been amazing to watch.


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