AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the City of Amarillo announced Tuesday that they will no longer host the regular bi-weekly COVID-19 news conferences, which have been used to update the community on the state of the pandemic.

This comes as Potter and Randall counties are reporting 3,945 active COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, according to the Amarillo Alerts dashboard, an increase of 178 active cases from Monday. Officials have hosted these news conference events on a frequent basis since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

The conferences resumed in August after the city of Amarillo increased its COVID-19 status level to Level Red, where it has remained since then. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the Amarillo Area Hospitalization Rate was reported as 10.9% on Aug. 11. As of Dec. 22, the rate was reported as 18.88%

Officials said that the city will continue to provide the COVID-19 Report Card every weekday, as well as the COVID-19 hospitalization report each Friday. The city’s Amarillo Alerts website will also continue to be updated with COVID-19 information, as well as COVID-19 vaccine and testing information.

MyHighPlains.com reached out to the city of Amarillo regarding the decision to stop the bi-weekly COVID-19 news conferences and received comment from officials.

“The weekly news conferences require a significant (amount) of time and preparation from the medical professionals that have volunteered their time to participate for over a year,” said city officials, ” Over the last several months, viewership of the news conferences has steadily declined as our community looks for on-demand information via our website, daily report cards, weekly hospitalization reports, etc. We will, of course, continue to make City of Amarillo leadership available to media who request interviews for stories related to COVID or any other City-related topic.”

This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates