‘We can only do so much’: City leaders discuss mobile morgues arriving in Amarillo

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson addresses the city about the rapid surge in COVID-19  cases in...
Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson addresses the city about the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in Amarillo.(Facebook)
Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 4:18 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo addressed Mayor Ginger Nelson’s recent statement on mobile morgues coming to Amarillo in a news conference today.

Mayor Ginger Nelson said the mobile morgues are coming to Amarillo through the Panhandle RAC. The RAC has been supplying other resources to Amarillo during the pandemic such as hospital workers and PPE.

Mayor Nelson says the morgue capacity in Amarillo is overwhelmed.

“Which at our current caseload is not able to handle the volume of people who are dying of COVID in our city,” said Mayor Nelson. “It’s really sad that we need those additional resources.”

The mayor called on citizens to wear face masks and cancel gatherings to avoid spreading the virus.

“The COVID surge in our city is very real, and there are very difficult consequences because of our COVID numbers," she said. “We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our city.”

When asked why the city has not requested action from Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Nelson said she believes we can mitigate the spread on our own.

“I feel like if our citizens would wear face masks, we would solve our own problem,” she said.

She continued, saying the cost of another shutdown is high.

“Shutting down businesses and schools is an extreme measure, and it is very costly," said Mayor Nelson.

None of the city officials speaking at the news conference had information on the exact number of Amarillo’s morgue capacity.

Dr. Scott Milton, public health authority with TTUHSC, joined the conference from the COVID-19 ICU at one of the Amarillo hospitals.

“I wanted everyone to understand that this is really a critical situation, obviously, when we’re talking about increasing our morgue capacity,” said Dr. Milton.

He invited a nurse who has traveled to Amarillo to help with the COVID-19 response to speak on the situation.

“Up at the hospital we’re tired, we are so worn out, just from all of the critical patients, and we just want to protect everyone and help everyone," she said. "We can only do so much, so we need you guys to do your part.”

Mayor Nelson addressed the people of Amarillo through a video on Facebook Thursday night over the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in the city.

She said there is a need to mobile morgue units to be brought to Amarillo as COVID-19 cases continue to surge and overflow hospitals throughout the area.

Mayor Nelson acknowledged the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases and stated the hospitals in Amarillo are completely full and are currently breaking records with the number of patients they are treating.

The morgue capacity has been expanded at the hospitals with a trailer and the city has requested a second trailer while they wait for a mobile morgue unit to arrive in Amarillo.

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