City leaders discuss demographics of COVID-19 cases in Amarillo, explain nursing home testing process

Social Distancing Demonstrated Through Matches

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In today’s city council meeting, Amarillo city leaders discussed the demographics of COVID-19 cases in Amarillo and offered an explanation of the process of nursing home testing.

Out of all the positive cases in Potter and Randall counties, 15.2 percent are Asian, 4.7 percent are African American, 13.1 percent are Caucasian, 25.4 percent are Hispanic and 41.5 percent are considered under active investigation.

Director of Amarillo Public Health Casie Stoughton addressed the current hospitalization rate of COVID-19 cases at BSA and Northwest.

In the Amarillo hospitals, there are currently 66 COVID-19 related patients. This means there is a 2.9 percent hospitalization rate at this time.

The total hospital capacity is around 50 percent, with the ICU capacity around 65 percent and ventilator capacity around 40 percent.

Stoughton says hospitalizations typically happen in the second week of the illness. With the increased number of cases confirmed last week after testing nearly 4,000 Tyson employees, there could be an increase in hospitalizations this week.

Regarding the testing at Tyson, Stoughton says a fair number of the Tyson positive cases live in other counties. That means the full 1,500 positive cases at Tyson will not be included in the Amarillo numbers, only the cases that live in Potter and Randall counties.

Amarillo Public Health and the Amarillo Fire Department are working with nursing facilities in Potter and Randall counties to test all staff and residents of nursing homes.

Most nursing homes chose to do the testing themselves, so the staff will be tested through the drive-thru testing and then test the residents themselves. The Amarillo Fire Department is providing training for those facilities on conducting the tests.

The testing capacity in Amarillo has increased as the state recently provided 15,000 swabs to Amarillo Public Health.

Amarillo Public Health also recently hired nine interpreters to help assist with contact investigations in our refugee populations.

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