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COVID cases still on decline

By Rick Smith

COVID-19 results continue to show a nice decline in both the number of cases tested and the number of positives being reported. We continue to collect and perform tests daily at Troy Regional, but at a much lower rate than in months past.

This is a very welcomed sign for the team at Troy Regional and for our community, state, and nation. Several theories on what is causing the decline but most point to a few of the same ideas. First, the number of people vaccinated is growing every day.

Do we have “heard immunity” — not even close, but every day more and more Alabamians are getting vaccinated.

At Troy Regional, we have administered over 800 vaccines and along with other community partners, we will continue this task as long as vaccines are available. Secondly, the fact that people are still encouraged to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and to socially distance must be considered a positive influence on this battle.

Lastly, the use of the monoclonal antibody therapies is certainly playing a huge role in keeping people out of our hospitals and out of the ICU. COVID-19  hospitalized patients across the state are at the lowest total in months. Do not become complacent with your hand washing, wearing a mask, or staying a safe distance from others.

In the midst of all this craziness, I would remind you that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Now is the time to schedule your appointment with one of the General Surgeons at Troy Regional. This relatively simple, screening procedure can provide early detection of colon abnormalities and save your life.

March is also National Sleep Awareness Month. Ask your physician about the need for a sleep study particularly if you are a restless sleeper, snore during sleep, or have an increased Body Mass Index (overweight). Obstructive sleep apnea is real and is the cause of sudden death far more frequently than you may think. The Sleep Disorder Center at Troy Regional has four beautifully appointed rooms and appointments are available normally within one week. Make the investment of time for yourself and schedule your colon screening and sleep study today.

In closing, I will remind you that one thing is constant at Troy Regional, our physician and team member support. I want to say thank you to two of my finest medical staff members, Drs. Richard Schloemer and Dr. Wilton McRae. Both recently turned 80 years old and continue to care for our community. Troy Regional, you are not alone, we are right here.

Rick E. Smith is chief executive officer of Troy Regional Medical Center.