EAMC getting prepared in case coronavirus impacts East Alabama

Published 4:41 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

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East Alabama Medical Center is getting prepared in case the coronavirus spreads into this portion of Alabama.

The hospital has had at least seven multi-disciplinary meetings regarding the virus and has also participated in several conference calls with the Center for Disease Control, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association, according to a press release from EAMC.

At the hospital, several staff members are being trained on every component of caring for a patient with coronavirus, or COVID-19, including the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) so as not to spread the virus to other patients or employees.

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“With Auburn University’s diverse population and local industries with ties to some of the affected countries, EAMC officials are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the possibility of the COVID-19 presenting itself in our region,” said the press release.

Instructional signage has been placed at the main entry points at EAMC, EAMC-Lanier and at the AU Medical Clinic, and communication continues with physicians to keep them aware of updated plans. Fred Kam, M.D., the medical director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic, is a member of the AU Task Force regarding the COVID-19, according to the EAMC press release.  He is attending meetings at AU and EAMC and shares information on the actions each is taking to address the COVID-19 situation.

EAMC says that like the flu, the elderly, the young and anyone immunocompromised are the people most at risk for the virus. They recommend good hand hygiene, covering your cough and limiting public exposure as the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

The hospital recommends washing hands often, avoiding touching your face and routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Most importantly, they ask people who are sick to stay at home.

People with a history of travel in the past 14 days to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan are not experiencing symptoms should call the Alabama Department of Health Infectious Diseases & Outbreaks Division at 1-800-338-8374.

People who have a history of travel in the past 14 days to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan and are experiencing any of the following symptoms — fever, cough or difficulty breathing — should call 334-528-SICK.