Northwest Texas Hospital’s MICU charge nurse begs community to wear masks

Coronavirus

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Northwest Texas Hospital MICU Charge Nurse Leona Talbott made a guest appearance on the city’s weekly COVID update to beg the community to wear masks.

Northwest’s MICU unit is also the hospital’s COVID unit.

In the update, Talbott stated, “We are struggling here at the hospital. Our hospitals are getting full of COVID patients at this time. Our ICUs are getting full and I just seriously beg, and please, please, please… our community needs to be following the standards that the mayor has put forward.”

She then went on to say that, “It is not about living in fear.”

“I know we hear so much about that. It is not about living in fear. It is about simply living and being able to have the next holidays. We may not have the holidays this year, but we will if we can survive through this. We will have them next year. So I just beg and plead, please for our community wear your mask,” pleaded Talbott.

“It’s not about living in fear.”

Leona Talbott

Additionally, she stated that she realizes wearing a mask is not ideal but it is essential.

“I wear an N95 mask and a surgical mask for 12 to 14 hours a day. It’s not comfortable, but it’s doable, and it means that we can survive this. So please, please, please Amarillo, wear your mask. We beg of you, here at the hospitals. Wear your masks,” continued Talbott.

The importance of wearing a mask was a popular topic during today’s City COVID update, as Mayor Ginger Nelson, City Manager Jared Miller, and Amarillo Public Health Authority Dr. Scott Milton also spoke on it.

“So if we know the right thing to do to protect others is to wear a mask, why do we need government to require us to do it? We should choose to do it because we want to take care of each other,” said Mayor Nelson.

She continued, “It is difficult to envision how closing down stores and our economy actually slows the spread of the virus. If people would just choose to limit their own behavior by wearing the mask and not doing social gatherings. That gets us there. So I’m not requesting the Governor to do anything differently right now. I’m requesting us, the citizens of the Panhandle, to do the right thing.”

Amarillo Health Authority, Dr. Scott Milton, later explained it is more likely to contract COVID-19 outside of the hospital than it is inside.

He explained this is because everyone inside the hospital wears a mask.

“So there’s proof right there that wearing a mask does make a difference. I think going forward, I think the next 6 to 8, maybe 12 weeks it’s going to be a rough period of time, and I would just once again beg everyone in the community to please be thinking of the people here in the hospital and be proactive and wear a mask and be responsible,” continued Dr. Milton.

In a final statement, Talbott said “it is not about living in fear. It is about simply living and being able to have the next holidays. We may not have the holidays this year, but we will if we can survive through this, we will have them next year. So I just beg and plead, please for our community wear your mask.”


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