AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As case numbers continue to rise here on the High Plains, local hospitals are seeing their numbers go up and seeing their capacities stressed.
The Panhandle Region sits at an 11.97% hospitalization rate. Both Northwest and BSA hospitals have nearly approached 100% capacity in critical care.
BSA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Lamanteer, said, “We are definitely seeing another surge in our community, in terms of total number of infected individuals and those that are requiring hospitalization.”
Throughout the pandemic, both hospitals have had to quarantine faculty. However, Dr. Lamanteer and Northwest’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Weiss, agree that faculty are most commonly getting infected outside of the hospital.
Dr. Weiss said, “We have kind of a constant number of employees under suspicion or testing positive and it’s predominantly over 90% family contact.”
Dr. Michael Lamanteer said, “When staff have become infected it has been because of a scenario where the patient wasn’t even suspected to have COVID, and in some cases, testing negative initially when they hit the hospital.”
In addition, Dr. Lamanteer said with four vaccines that are in stage three trials, BSA is already in the thinking process about preparing how they would distribute the vaccine to the public in an appropriate fashion.
He went on to say, “We do feel like there is some positivity here on the horizon with the vaccination potential. I feel like most of us feel like that’s really going to be the best bet for us in terms of us getting ahead of this disease.”
Dr. Lamanteer wanted to remind the public that this is a serious disease that does not only affect the elderly. He said there are younger patients that have died from COVID-19.
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