Amarillo health experts anticipate lower numbers of COVID-19 during holiday season

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:59 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - City health leaders are anticipating lower numbers of COVID-19 cases in Amarillo as the holidays approach.

“I remain very optimistic about the way the holidays will be looking here in Amarillo,” said Dr. Todd Bell, public health authority for the City of Amarillo.

Dr. Bell said this is due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported in recent weeks.

“Once we have a surge, there’s a pause,” said Dr. Bell. “We have both the built-in resistance to the disease, from those who have been vaccinated, as well as the resistance to the disease from those actually infected....and we’ve had a lot of people infected over the last couple of weeks.”

The city is no longer considered an area of high hospitalization, according to Public Health Director Casie Stoughton, but is still in level red.

Stoughton is “hopeful” the city will be able to lower the level soon.

Today, NWTHS has less than 40 patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital for the first time in two months.

BSA is caring for 53 patients with COVID, including one pediatric patient.

Though patient numbers are slowly trending downward, hospitals are still working to increase staff and plan for future staffing needs.

“It is an ongoing challenge to make sure we have enough staffing to manage our in-patient population,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, chief medical officer at BSA.

Dr. Lamanteer said the hospital recently held an employee vaccination clinic and administered 500 doses.

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