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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Russell Medical CEO Jim Peace speaks to Russell Medical staff before a moment of silence Tuesday.

Healthcare workers across the state took a moment to remember Tuesday.

Russell Medical CEO Jim Peace joined many employees of Russell Medical at noon as did other healthcare facilities across the state to hold a moment of silence and pray.

“It is a trying time for all hospitals,” Peace said. “Today, hospitals all across the state are standing as we are in their facilities in honor and memory of the over 12,000 Alabamaians who have lost their lives to date to COVID-19. Today, we want to take a moment of silence and honor them but also honor their families and in honor of all of you and your families.”

Russell Medical RN nurse manager Nancey Ammons has seen it all. Ammons has been there when patients were escorted from ICU after intubation for COVID-19 and more. Ammons is also there when patients get the monoclonal infusion. The moment of silence was special for Ammons.

“I was thinking about all the patients that we have lost and those we are still fighting for — it has been so many,” Ammons said. “I think we have had 13 that had been intubated that have walked out of here.”

The moment of silence came just in time. Area residents were lining up at The Mill 280 for drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Russell Medical director of marketing Susan Foy said the testing center is seeing an average of about 200 people a day with slightly more on the days just after a weekend. Tuesday was no different as more than 20 cars waited to get to the canopy for testing.

Ammons knows more tough days are ahead but knows help is surrounding her and the rest of the staff at Russell Medical.

“My community, my fellow coworkers, my family and friends — the community here is just so supportive of us,” Ammons said. “They’ve done prayers, food, cards, text and emails, it keeps you going.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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