EAMC employee is first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Alabama


LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – An East Alabama Medical Center employee who had NOT traveled outside the Lee County area is confirmed to be the first case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Lee County.
The case was announced Sunday night by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and now we are learning additional details. We are thankful to report the employee is doing well.

“While EAMC has done everything possible to help prevent the spread of the virus in our region, we also believed that it was a matter of time as the virus made its way across America.  Unfortunately, the person with this first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lee County is an EAMC employee,” said EAMC’s John Atkinson. 

While Atkinson cannot divulge this person’s identity, we do know  their symptoms are mild. The employee had not traveled outside of Lee County prior to the symptoms, making this what is considered a “community transmission” of the virus.  

“The employee made a doctor’s appointment once they detected symptoms.  At the appointment, a COVID-19 specimen was collected and submitted for testing. The employee is currently quarantined at home,” said Atkinson. 

Since learning of this situation Sunday night, EAMC has cancelled most elective procedures and are taking all extra precautions in an effort to stop this spread. 

“In addition, we have implemented a plan to perform deep cleaning in all patient care areas. Employees are actively practicing meticulous infection control and the use of personal protective equipment. We are closely monitoring every patient, visitor and employee; and have taken every precaution to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” said Atkinson.

As a reminder, wash your hands and do not go to work, school or public areas if you are showing any signs of illness or are not feeling well. Anyone exhibiting symptoms, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath should call 528-SICK.

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