Athens-Limestone Hospital will join hospitals across Alabama in hosting a moment of silence for the more than 12,000 who have lost their lives to COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.
The Alabama Hospital Association called on all Alabamians to participate in a statewide moment of silence at noon Tuesday. Everyone, no matter where they are at the time, is encouraged to participate, AHA said in a release, adding the association wants to remember not just those lost but those still fighting to survive and recover from the disease. They also aim to honor the thousands of families affected and thousands of health care workers who cared for them.
At ALH, staff and others will meet on the hospital's Market Street lawn for an outdoor moment of silence.
"This disease has caused such devastation and heartbreak for so many Alabamians that we believe this is very much needed," ALH Spokesperson Felicia Lambert said. "We hope you'll join us in the moment of silence, wherever you are that day, and that you'll pass along this request to your friends, family and coworkers and encourage them to participate as well."
AHA President Donald E. Williamson said that it's likely everyone in the state has known someone negatively affected by COVID-19. As of Friday, 12,394 Alabamians had died from complications of COVID-19, while more than 710,000 have contracted the disease.
"Seeing the dramatic loss of lives and the awful sickness caused by the virus has been extremely challenging for our hospitals and their staff and physicians, and we thought it might be helpful and healing for us all to have a few collective minutes of silent reflection and prayer," Williamson said. "We urge others across the state to join us Tuesday."
As of Friday, only one of Alabama's 67 counties had managed to transition from "high risk of community transmission" to "substantial risk," according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
In Limestone County, the day-to-day reports of case numbers spiked again at the end of August, bringing the seven-day average up with them. The county added 1,100 new cases to its total in a 16-day period ending Sept. 1.
In the same time period, nearly 10 people died from complications of the disease. Limestone County has reported 12,927 cases total since March 2020 and 173 deaths total, according to ADPH data.