AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Starting today, Amarillo is officially in status level yellow.
This announcement comes exactly a month after the area moved to level orange after being in level red since October.
The language between the orange and yellow levels is pretty similar. But, there are some less restrictive recommendations.
For example, they are no longer suggesting to limit gatherings or limit travel outside of the community.
“My advice would be to proceed with caution. What we know really works best is using a mask in a public setting and trying to do those things to protect those individuals as much as possible that would be at an increase risk of becoming seriously ill,” said Dr. Scott Milton, Texas Tech Physicians Infectious Disease Specialist.
Ultimately he said the vaccine is a game changer against fighting COVID-19, especially with new variants spreading.
“Texas was listed as one of the states where we are approaching 50 percents prevalence of this UK variant,” said Dr. Brian Weis, chief medical officer at Northwest Texas Healthcare System. “And that seems to be a tipping point. Once you hit 50 percent, then you get the logarithmic spread of this particular virus, so I think we are still at a vulnerable point.”
In terms of vaccine distribution, the city did see an increase from the new eligibility category that opened up on Monday.
“Monday was very high demand, we had a very strong day, Monday,” said Jared Miller, city manager for the City of Amarillo. “It tapered off very quickly through yesterday, and we had one of our lower vaccination days. It was a little surprising that the numbers fell off yesterday.”
Meanwhile both hospitals are now transitioning from primarily COVID-19 activities to normal operations.
Many of the travel nurses that were here to help with the high numbers of COVID-19 patients are leaving.
Both hospitals are now using contract nurses to fill gaps as some of the local nurses have decided to leave for various reasons.
The city also announced after today they will only hold their COVID-19 conference every other week. However, this does not include the daily report which will continue as normal.