Cases of COVID-19 are rising at an alarming rate across the state and are slowly rising in Tallapoosa County.

In the last 14 days more than 8,100 new coronavirus cases have been reported of Alabama’s nearly 27,000. The situation is not nearly as dire in Tallapoosa County as the Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting 49 of 482 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last 14 days. Russell Medical said it has had 227 positive test results returned from laboratories since the beginning of the pandemic and is seeing the line of positive cases trend slightly upward. Misty Anderson, Russell Medical’s director of education, safety and accreditation, said Russell Medical has seen growth in its rolling 3-day average recently.

“It is up to 4.7 cases (Wednesday),” Anderson said. “For the last three weeks it had leveled out. We had flattened the curve here.”

Russell Medical director of marketing Susan Foy said the current Tallapoosa County trend is not likely related to Memorial Day activities.

“We are past the Memorial Day cases,” Foy said. “These are likely related to people relaxing and summer lake activities.”

Foy said now is not the time to relax on the precautions of social distancing, wearing masks and handwashing.

“People have got to heed the warning and not be complacent,” Foy said. “We have to remain vigilant. We are emphasizing personal responsibility like (Gov. Kay Ivey).”

Anderson said she believes wearing a mask, especially indoors while shopping is still much needed.

“I’m a big advocate of the masks,” Anderson said. “It provides you protection. It will prevent the splatter (of respiratory droplets).”

Foy said things are returning to normal at Russell Medical but the facility is still restricting visitors and screening patients while following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures.

“Do not put off taking care of your health,” Foy said. “If it is time for an annual visit, go ahead. It’s very safe.”

Anderson said while other hospitals in Alabama are seeing the highest hospitalization rates of the pandemic, Russell Medical is in good shape as it can treat many COVID-19 patients at home.

“The acuity level is going down,” Anderson said. “Our hospitalization of COVID-19 patients is down. There is a lot of outpatient treatment. It doesn’t mean they aren’t sick, but we are learning how to treat this new virus.”

Anderson said if someone starts to feel sick he or she should start to self-quarantine themselves until he or she can get tested. Anderson said everyone needs to note how bodies change and when they feel they might have come into contact with those who might have COVID-19.

“Be very aware of your health changes,” Anderson said. “If people think they are sick, they need to seek medical attention.”

Anderson said she hopes routines of hand sanitation and social distancing everyone should be developing with COVID-19 will make other viruses easier to combat.

“We hope these habits will continue,” Anderson said. “Hopefully they will decrease things like our flu season.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.