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‘Please social distance’: Amarillo leaders speak on recent increase of COVID-19 cases at hospitals

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:59 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The number of COVID-19 patients at Amarillo hospitals has nearly doubled compared to this time last week.

“Everything unfortunately is moving in the wrong direction in that respect,” said Dr. Brian Weis, the chief medical officer at Northwest Texas Healthcare System.

On Wednesday, July 1, Northwest Texas Hospital had seven COVID-19 in-patients. A week later, that number jumped to 18 total COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

Eight of those patients are in the ICU and two on ventilators.

“Not surprisingly, I’ll say, after the holiday weekend... with folks getting out and about, we are having an uptick in cases,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, the chief medical officer at BSA Health System.

Last week, BSA had 18 patients with the hospital currently having 27 patients.

10 of those patients are in the ICU and three are on ventilators.

Dr. Lamanteer said the last time BSA had this many cases at the hospital was on May 31.

The Amarillo VA Health Care System is also seeing an increase in cases.

Dr. Rodney Gonzalez with the Amarillo VA said there are two COVID-19 patients in the hospital with 14 veterans quarantining at home.

For the past few weeks, the Amarillo VA had no positive cases at the facility.

14 veterans have recovered from the coronavirus.

Northwest Texas Hospital and BSA have received the last government issued remdesivir. From this point on, the hospitals will have to purchase the drug, which is more than $3,000 per treatment.

The visitation restrictions and elective procedures at the hospitals are the same, but health officials said that could change if the number of cases continue to increase.

The spike in numbers is also reflecting Amarillo as a whole.

Public Health Authority Dr. Scott Milton said Randall and Potter counties are seeing an increase of positive cases, but now the trend is hitting Randall County more.

The most recent report card will show active cases have significantly dropped, which is due to area hotspots and recoveries.

The current age group with the most increasing cases is 20 to 29.

City leaders are continuing to encourage the community to practice social distancing, wear masks and practice good hygiene.

“Agree or disagree with the order, I think as a whole the Panhandle has taken a practical approach to do what the governor has asked us to do,” Mayor Ginger Nelson said, in reference to the executive order Gov. Greg Abbott passed about making mask wearing mandatory. “Right now, face coverings is a sacrifice that we are being asked to make during a difficult time.”

Under the executive order, the City of Amarillo can take criminal action by making a report or writing a ticket.

No reports or citations have been made since the executive order has been in effect.

There are 6,158 COVID-19 cases in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 3
  • Briscoe County: 7
  • Carson County: 7
  • Castro County: 99
  • Childress County: 7
  • Collingsworth County: 6
  • Cottle County: 4
  • Dallam County: 101
  • Deaf Smith County: 355
  • Donley County: 27
  • Gray County: 125
  • Hall County: 2
  • Hansford County: 31
  • Hartley County: 47
  • Hemphill County: 15
  • Hutchinson County: 70
  • Lipscomb County: 11
  • Moore County: 897
  • Motley County: 1
  • Ochiltree County: 53
  • Oldham County: 4
  • Parmer County: 215
  • Potter County: 3,008
  • Randall County: 971
  • Roberts County: 4
  • Sherman County: 30
  • Swisher County: 38
  • Wheeler County: 20

Out of the confirmed cases, there are 5,240 recoveries in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 3
  • Briscoe County: 1
  • Carson County: 6
  • Castro County: 46
  • Cottle County: 3
  • Childress County: 5
  • Collingsworth County: 5
  • Dallam County: 67
  • Deaf Smith County: 217
  • Donley County: 27
  • Gray County: 108
  • Hall County: 1
  • Hartley County: 23
  • Hansford County: 20
  • Hemphill County: 2
  • Hutchinson County: 46
  • Lipscomb County: 8
  • Motley County: 1
  • Moore County: 856
  • Ochiltree County: 50
  • Oldham County: 3
  • Parmer County: 138
  • Potter County: 2,749
  • Randall County: 786
  • Roberts County: 2
  • Sherman County: 30
  • Swisher County: 21
  • Wheeler County: 16

There have also been 103 COVID-19 related deaths in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Castro County: 1
  • Cottle County: 1
  • Dallam County: 1
  • Deaf Smith County: 17
  • Gray County: 4
  • Hall County: 1
  • Hansford County: 2
  • Hartley County: 2
  • Hockley County: 1
  • Ochiltree County: 2
  • Oldham County: 1
  • Moore County: 15
  • Parmer County: 8
  • Potter County: 39
  • Randall County: 7
  • Swisher County: 1

There are 1,030 confirmed cases in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver County: 32
  • Cimarron County: 1
  • Texas County: 997

There have been 1,015 recoveries in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver: 32
  • Cimarron: 1
  • Texas County: 982

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

  • Texas County: 6

There are 291 positive COVID-19 cases across Eastern New Mexico:

  • Curry County: 201
  • Quay County: 8
  • Roosevelt County: 74
  • Union County: 8

There have been two deaths related to COVID-19 in Eastern New Mexico:

  • Roosevelt County: 1
  • Quay: 1

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