EAMC releases COVID-19 update Tuesday

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Special to the Opelika Observer

As of 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 14:

In the Hospital:

48 – patients currently hospitalized at EAMC with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

47 – patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 who have been discharged.

11 – patients currently hospitalized with suspected COVID-19.

20 – patients currently hospitalized who were previously suspected of COVID-19, but have since received a negative test result.

EAMC COVID-19 Testing Statistics:

2494 – # of COVID-19 tests submitted by EAMC

1935 – # of COVID-19 tests that were NEGATIVE

141 – # of COVID-19 tests that are pending results

16.7% – percentage of EAMC test kits that have tested positive

Confirmed COVID-19 cases by county in EAMC immediate service area (as of 4:45 p.m. today):

Lee County – 259

Chambers County – 213

Tallapoosa County – 117

Randolph County – 44

Russell County – 28

Macon County – 17

Clay County – 14

Bullock County – 7

EAMC Launches Telehealth

In order to better meet the needs of the community during COVID-19, EAMC has implemented telehealth services at many of its physician practices. Other medical practices in the area are also in the process of providing telehealth, if they have not already.  Telehealth means that patients can visit their doctor virtually on their phone via video chat. This is the latest adjustment that EAMC has implemented in order to provide a safe and secure way to receive medical treatment. Some offices that do not have telehealth yet do offer telephonic service allowing patients to speak directly with their physician by phone instead of an in-person visit.

This project, which could normally take months to implement, even for a large health system, was accomplished by EAMC’s Application Support team in a matter of weeks. “The team has done an incredible job deploying our new telehealth solution at various EAMC-owned clinics,” Oliver Banta, EAMC chief information officer says. “Once we identified a solution that was easy for our patients and providers to use, the team worked quickly to get it tested and implemented within days.  Since then, we have utilized telehealth to see hundreds of patients.”

Respite Areas at EAMC (1 location attached)

To help provide a place for employees to decompress and rest during these challenging times, EAMC has designated three areas of respite onsite in Opelika – one in the Goodson Garden by The Surgery Center, one outside of the ICU, and one on the patio outside the Terrace Cafe. These areas have snacks, drinks, calming music, trees/plants and inspirational reading material, and are for employees who are in direct patient care areas to use when they need to retreat for a break.

528-SICK Reminder – When to call and criteria for testing

People with mild symptoms should isolate at home and treat their symptoms as they would with the seasonal flu, using over-the-counter medications, with the exception of ibuprofen. Contact your pharmacist if you have questions about taking over-the-counter medications.

Those who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and may need possible emergent care should contact their primary care provider first to discuss testing. If the medical provider determines a COVID-19 test is warranted, they will collect the specimen there and submit to ADPH or to an independent lab. If the physician’s office is out of supplies or do not have the ability to collect, the patient can call 334-528-SICK for evaluation.

Calling 334-528-SICK does not guarantee a specimen will be collected and submitted for testing.

Our 334-528-SICK screening hotline is open 24 hours a day, but we only schedule testing between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Specimen collections take place at HealthPlus and at EAMC-Lanier.  As a reminder, appointments can only be made through the 334-528-SICK hotline. For more information about when to seek screening, visit eamc.org/coronavirus.

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