WATCH: City of Amarillo updates community on COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The City of Amarillo scheduled a Wednesday morning briefing to update the community on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Amarillo officials also held a presentation on the general state of the city.

MyHighPlains.com has kept an ongoing record of COVID-19 cases in the High Plains, as well as hospitalization statistics released by the Amarillo Public Health Department every week.

As of Wednesday morning according to Northwest Texas Healthcare System’s (NWTHS) Dr. Brian Weis, the hospital had 43 inpatients with COVID-19. Of that number, 19 were in the ICU, 13 on ventilators, and one child with the virus in the pediatric unit.

Dr. Weis continued to report that the slight decrease in hospitalizations allowed wait times in the NWTHS emergency room to decrease, and a few of the 18 patients on-hold from the wider region were able to be admitted for needed intensive care. Regarding staff, Weis also asked the community to be respectful of restrictions in place in hospitals such as NWTHS, as visitation and masking guidelines were created with the intent to protect patients and vulnerable others from severe infection.

BSA Healthcare System’s Dr. Michael Lamanteer reported 53 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 25 of which were in the ICU, and 20 of which were on ventilators. Dr. Lamanteer also reported around 30-40 patients per day moving through the respiratory triage center. Around 56 RAC nurses and 55 contract nurses have been aiding BSA staff in recent weeks.

While numbers have somewhat gone down, Lamanteer warned that the change has not been dramatic. He hesitated to ‘overexaggerate’ the decline in cases, and continued to urge cautious strategies such as masking and vaccination to protect from the virus. He also mentioned that an oral antiviral for COVID-19 was put into testing and seemed to have some promise. While Lamanteer insisted it would not replace the need for vaccination, it may be available to help treatment of COVID-19 patients in early 2022.

The VA Healthcare System’s Dr. Rodney Gonzalez reported four COVID-19 patients in his hospital, three of which were in the ICU Wednesday. He commented to agree with the mild hope Weis expressed, as two of the COVID-19 patients in the VA were reported to be from the broader region. Similar to Lamanteer, however, Gonzalez also encouraged COVID-19 vaccination and flu shots.

The VA, according to Gonzalez, scheduled an opportunity for veterans to receive flu vaccinations from Oct. 28 – 23, from 8 a.m. – noon in the parking lot of the facility.

City of Amarillo officials continued to encourage all members of the community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if able, and to be cautious of the spread of the virus as well as supportive of healthcare workers.

CountyConfirmed Cases ReportedDeathsRecovery
Armstrong1917265
Beaver5507530
Briscoe1387207
Carson53624732
Castro954371,246
Childress1,494201,508
Cimarron3232303
Collingsworth28611374
Cottle1779218
Curry7,2731166,802
Dallam1,036111,218
Deaf Smith2,472753,266
Donley25818544
Gray2,556773,328
Hall42215503
Hardeman38614436
Hansford444261,076
Hartley68410852
Hemphill6283678
Hutchinson2,753863,389
Lipscomb34512364
Moore2,509853,260
Ochiltree1,309371,401
Oldham1786331
Parmer1,034351,456
Potter23,24254421,720
Quay100221835
Randall23,48435821,994
Roberts82189
Roosevelt2,684682,465
Sherman22915278
Swisher973221,438
Texas4048393,938
Union34812304
Wheeler62013728
TOTAL85,6481,84288.126
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