As COVID-19 cases plateau in Amarillo, city leaders hopeful the city will move down to Level Orange

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As COVID-19 cases plateau in Amarillo, city leaders are hopeful the city will soon move from level red to a level orange COVID-19 alert.

“We’re beginning to adjust to living in a COVID world,” said City of Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “I feel good. I think we’ll soon be going back to Level Orange.”

While city officials are working on the criteria to move Amarillo back to Level Orange, they will continue to get Governor Greg Abbott’s guidance on reopening the rest of the city.

A large part of when and how Amarillo will reopen depends on COVID-19 numbers, which includes new nursing home and meatpacking plant testing.

Public Health Director Casie Stoughton said as of Wednesday morning, 2,320 tests were conducted for Amarillo area nursing homes.

She said 67 percent tested negative, six percent tested positive and 27 percent are pending.

Stoughton said 11 nursing homes out of the 14 in the Amarillo area have coronavirus cases.

Out of 821 Potter and Randall county residents who work at the JBS meatpacking plant in Moore County, 62 percent tested negative, 20 percent tested positive and 19 percent are pending.

“Those positive rates are staying fairly low,” Stoughton said. “I think right now we’re starting to see some positive cases from Memorial Day get-togethers.”

As COVID-19 case trends at Amarillo hospitals continue to look encouraging, Northwest Texas Healthcare System will begin to allow visitors.

Northwest Texas Healthcare System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Weis said visitor restriction includes having one visitor per patient and two visitors for a patient in the labor and delivery wing.

BSA Healthcare System is looking at its visitor restrictions as well.

Northwest says it will deescalate COVID-19 testing for every elective procedure, meaning only select patients will be tested for COVID-19.

Both hospitals are also learning the best therapies in treating COVID-patients.

With a total of 18 patients who have received remdesivir at NWTHS, some patients have had a positive recovery while others haven’t respond well to the drug.

BSA Healthcare System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamanteer added they are learning the best ways to go about treating patients and they will have a better idea of what worked the best a year from now.

Both Amarillo hospitals and the Amarillo VA Healthcare System are also continuing to see less COVID-19 cases at the hospitals.

Dr. Weis said there are 15 COVID-19 cases with seven patients in the ICUI, two on ventilators and one PUI.

Since April, Dr. Weis said there has been a reduction in cases by one to two a day.

Amarillo VA Active Director Mark Rielo said there have been no COVID-19 cases inside the facility for the past two weeks.

The VA is monitoring 11 cases at home, has six PUIs and is hoping to reopen limited services for veterans on July 6.

There are 4,467 COVID-19 cases in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 3
  • Briscoe County: 1
  • Carson County: 6
  • Castro County: 33
  • Childress County: 2
  • Collingsworth County: 5
  • Cottle County: 4
  • Dallam County: 31
  • Deaf Smith County: 166
  • Donley County: 27
  • Gray County: 102
  • Hall County: 2
  • Hansford County: 19
  • Hartley County: 13
  • Hemphill County: 1
  • Hutchinson County: 37
  • Lipscomb County: 2
  • Moore County: 686
  • Motley County: 1
  • Ochiltree County: 52
  • Oldham County: 4
  • Parmer County: 63
  • Potter County: 2,432
  • Randall County: 711
  • Roberts County: 2
  • Sherman County: 29
  • Swisher County: 18
  • Wheeler County: 15

Out of the confirmed cases, there are 1,817 recoveries in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 2
  • Carson County: 1
  • Castro County: 17
  • Cottle County: 1
  • Childress County: 1
  • Dallam County: 25
  • Deaf Smith County: 88
  • Donley County: 23
  • Gray County: 84
  • Hartley County: 10
  • Hansford County: 15
  • Hemphill County: 1
  • Hutchinson County: 22
  • Lipscomb County: 1
  • Motley County: 1
  • Moore County: 485
  • Ochiltree County: 18
  • Oldham County: 2
  • Parmer County: 5
  • Potter County: 696
  • Randall County: 272
  • Roberts County: 2
  • Sherman County: 20
  • Swisher County: 10
  • Wheeler County: 15

There have also been 74 COVID-19 related deaths in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Castro County: 1
  • Cottle County: 1
  • Deaf Smith County: 13
  • Gray County: 2
  • Hansford County: 2
  • Hartley County: 2
  • Ochiltree County: 2
  • Oldham County: 1
  • Moore County: 13
  • Potter County: 31
  • Randall County: 6

There are 959 confirmed cases in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver County: 24
  • Cimarron County: 1
  • Texas County: 934

There have been 867 recoveries in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Texas County: 867

There have been five COVID-19 related deaths in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Texas County: 5

There are 105 positive COVID-19 cases across Eastern New Mexico:

  • Curry County: 55
  • Quay County: 5
  • Roosevelt County: 41
  • Union County: 4

There is one death related to COVID-19 in Eastern New Mexico:

  • Quay: 1

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