17 new COVID-19 cases in Potter, Randall counties, bringing total to 171 in the Texas Panhandle

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - There are 17 new COVID-19 cases in the Potter and Randall counties, bringing the total to 104 cases in Amarillo.

During a Wednesday morning news conference, Director of Public Health Casie Stoughton also said another patient in Randall County has died.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Public Health Authority Dr. Scott Milton said the peak in Amarillo is unknown at this time but for everyone to plan for the worst and to hope for the best.

Stoughton said 897 people have been tested through the City of Amarillo’s drive-thru center with 81 tests still pending.

Out of the 284 tests that have came through Northwest Texas Healthcare System, 49 have came back positive, including some who are employees. As of this morning, 33 tests are pending.

NWTH Dr. Brian Weis said 14 people are under investigation, nine patients with COVID-19 are in the hospital, three are in the critical care, one is on a ventilator and one is in pediatric.

BSA Health Care System did not give an exact number of positive COVID-19 cases or tests.

However, BSA said the hospital is seeing a small number of COVID-19 inpatients, but they do have a large number of cases under investigation.

BSA said they receive test results within 24 hours.

The Amarillo VA Health Care System said they still have one patient who tested positive with COVID-19 and six pending results.

The patient at the VA is in better condition.

The VA is sending tests to California, which takes about 72 hours, and will soon be able to test in house.

City Manager Jared Miller said the demand in area hospitals is low during the pandemic.

BSA has seen a dramatic decrease in patient visits, but that is most likely because many surgeries and procedures are postponed during this time.

Northwest is also seeing less patients with heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Weis said Northwest is currently having conversations on moving forward because the hospital has had to reduce shifts and redistribute staff.

While both hospitals see a decrease, they are urging anyone who may need medical treatment to not disregard those symptoms and to go to the hospital if they need to.

Hospital visits aren’t the only thing that have remained low. There are about 30 percent less public safety calls due to the community staying home and traveling less.

Miller explained that for a low-risk business to open, the business must meet four guidelines, which are to remain six feet apart, have 10 or less people, have extra sanitation and ensure enhanced hygiene.

Here are other points made during the news conference:

  • PPE supply is better compared to a week ago at BSA. BSA is grateful for the donations.
  • The universal masking policy starts today, which means everyone in a hospital is required to wear a mask.
  • City of Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson is meeting with grocery store managers today to touch base about safety and health precautions. Mayor Nelson said grocery store managers and employees are doing a good job at keeping everyone healthy, but they will discuss if anything else needs to be done.

This makes a total of 171 COVID-19 cases in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Hemphill County: 1
  • Gray County: 11
  • Moore County: 19
  • Swisher County: 2
  • Potter County and Randall County: 104
  • Castro County: 11
  • Deaf Smith County: 7
  • Oldham County: 3
  • Donley County: 9
  • Dallam County: 1
  • Hutchinson County: 2
  • Hansford County: 1

Out of the confirmed cases, there are currently 5 recoveries in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Deaf Smith County: 1
  • Potter County: 1
  • Randall County: 2
  • Moore County: 1

There have also been five deaths in the Texas Panhandle:

There are four cases in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver County: 1
  • Texas County: 3

The total case count in Eastern New Mexico is nine:

  • Curry County: 8
  • Roosevelt County: 1

These cities and counties that are under stay-at-home directives:

  • Potter County
  • Deaf Smith County
  • Gray County
  • City of Amarillo
  • City of Canyon
  • Randall County
  • City of Pampa
  • City of Lefors
  • City of Hereford
  • Hansford County
  • City of Gruver
  • City of Spearman
  • City of McLean
  • Castro County
  • Donley County
  • Wheeler County
  • Swisher County
  • City of Perryton
  • Ochiltree County
  • City of Tulia
  • Armstrong County
  • City of Claude

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