Amarillo hospitals beginning ‘rebuilding process’ as COVID-19 burden trends downward

Amarillo hospitals beginning ‘rebuilding process’ as COVID-19 burden trends downward
(Source: WLOX)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As Amarillo continues the process of reopening, local hospitals are beginning to return to normal operations.

In a news conference today, city leaders discussed the status of the coronavirus in Amarillo, as well as the testing in nursing homes, meat packing plants and prisons.

Public Health Authority Dr. Scott Milton said while officials are anticipating a government order for assisted living and group home testing, Amarillo Fire Department and the city has reached out to those facilities to offer testing now.

As of Wednesday morning, 1,150 residents of assisted living and group homes have been tested with 79 testing negative, 2 percent testing positive and 10 percent still pending.

More than 2,000 nursing home staff and residents have been tested with 91 percent testing negative, six percent testing positive and three percent still pending.

Out of 14 nursing homes in Potter and Randall counties, 12 have positive cases of coronavirus.

Dr. Milton said testing 821 JBS meatpacking plant employees who live in Potter and Randall counties have tested, with 62 percent testing negative, 22 testing positive and 17 percent still pending.

The Texas Department Criminal Justice Clements Unit has seen an increase in testing numbers, which has shown a jump in numbers, Mayor Ginger Nelson said.

While tests will continue to come in, Amarillo hospitals and the Amarillo VA Health Care System are continuing to see a downward trend of COVID-19 in their facilities.

Northwest Texas Healthcare System has nine COVID-patients in the hospital, with five in the ICU and none on ventilators.

BSA Health System has 12 COVID-patients in the hospital, with seven in the ICU and four on ventilators.

The Amarillo VA has no COVID-patients in the facility, with 13 veterans being monitored at their homes.

BSA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamanteer said this is the lowest number of COVID-19 patients the hospital has had since early April.

“Things are looking very good at Northwest,” said Dr. Brian Weis, the chief medical officer at Northwest Texas Hospital. “It’s nice to see the hospital look like a hospital again. We’ve realized we’re going to have to live with COVID.”

While health officials are figuring out how to live with the virus, the hospitals are continuing to reopen some of its services and are in a rebuilding process to get back to the way they were before the pandemic.

Northwest Texas Hospital will begin to bring back furloughed employees, has reopened the gift shop and medical students are coming back to the hospital.

BSA is opening up visitation with one visitor allowed per each patient.

The VA is reopening its clinic in Lubbock next week for limited in-person appointments, and the Amarillo campus and other clinics are expected to reopen around July 8.

More details of services reopening will be provided as it is made available.

Mayor Nelson said Amarillo is in phase three of reopening, which means essential services, hair salons, religious, government, youth camps and youth sports are open at a 100 percent capacity level.

Wedding venues and receptions are open at a 50 percent capacity level unless its outdoors and non-essential retails and restaurants are open at a 50 percent capacity level.

This also goes for move theaters, malls, golf courses and water parks.

On June 12, restaurants can be open at a 75 percent capacity level, and on June 19, amusement parks and carnivals can open at a 50 percent capacity level.

There are 5,065 COVID-19 cases in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 3
  • Briscoe County: 1
  • Carson County: 6
  • Castro County: 35
  • Childress County: 2
  • Collingsworth County: 5
  • Cottle County: 4
  • Dallam County: 34
  • Deaf Smith County: 189
  • Donley County: 27
  • Gray County: 105
  • Hall County: 2
  • Hansford County: 20
  • Hartley County: 13
  • Hemphill County: 1
  • Hutchinson County: 44
  • Lipscomb County: 5
  • Moore County: 852
  • Motley County: 1
  • Ochiltree County: 52
  • Oldham County: 4
  • Parmer County: 89
  • Potter County: 2,766
  • Randall County: 740
  • Roberts County: 2
  • Sherman County: 30
  • Swisher County: 18
  • Wheeler County: 15

Out of the confirmed cases, there are 2,359 recoveries in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Armstrong County: 2
  • Briscoe County: 1
  • Carson County: 5
  • Castro County: 28
  • Cottle County: 3
  • Childress County: 2
  • Collingsworth County: 3
  • Dallam County: 26
  • Deaf Smith County: 119
  • Donley County: 26
  • Gray County: 88
  • Hall County: 1
  • Hartley County: 11
  • Hansford County: 15
  • Hemphill County: 1
  • Hutchinson County: 27
  • Lipscomb County: 2
  • Motley County: 1
  • Moore County: 519
  • Ochiltree County: 37
  • Oldham County: 2
  • Parmer County: 43
  • Potter County: 992
  • Randall County: 352
  • Roberts County: 2
  • Sherman County: 20
  • Swisher County: 16
  • Wheeler County: 15

There have also been 78 COVID-19 related deaths in the Texas Panhandle:

  • Castro County: 1
  • Cottle County: 1
  • Deaf Smith County: 13
  • Gray County: 3
  • Hansford County: 2
  • Hartley County: 2
  • Ochiltree County: 2
  • Oldham County: 1
  • Moore County: 14
  • Potter County: 32
  • Randall County: 6
  • Swisher County: 1

There are 119 positive COVID-19 cases across Eastern New Mexico:

  • Curry County: 64
  • Quay County: 5
  • Roosevelt County: 45
  • Union County: 5

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

  • Quay: 1

There are 982 confirmed cases in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver County: 27
  • Cimarron County: 1
  • Texas County: 954

There have been 933 recoveries in the Oklahoma Panhandle:

  • Beaver: 24
  • Cimarron: 1
  • Texas County: 908

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

  • Texas County: 6

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