City leaders give an update on hospitalization and the surge of COVID-19 in Amarillo

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As the hospitalization rate grows in Amarillo and the city moves back to COVID-19 Status Level Red, new measures were put in place by the city to help reduce that surge.

Those include that adult hospital bed use is over 80%, ICU usage is over 80%, ventilator use is over 50%, and a five-day case average at more than 80 cases per day.

Currently, the ICU usage is at 89% and the five-day case average is 214 cases a day.

Director of Public Health Casie Stoughton said that the local COVID-19 patients are mostly from Amarillo. She adds that the city is not really able to take in new patients from panhandle area hospitals.

Mayor Ginger Nelson said this impact affects more than just the people of Amarillo.

“Our choices are affecting not just us in our city, they’re affecting the ability to leave our hospital doors open for people that live in Gruver, in Sunray, in Booker. All the Panhandle region. Those urgent care needs and emergency needs don’t have beds at our hospital because we are not managing our COVID numbers and not keeping them flat,” said Mayor Nelson.

Local hospitals have activated their surge plans and bringing in additional staff to help.

“I just want citizens to know, to stop for a moment and think it’s not just about, I’m I scared of getting COVID or the effects of COVID, it’s actually about our entire hospital and they use that hospital to treat all of us that are known and unknown,” said Mayor Nelson.

Councilmember Dr. Eddy Sauer said that if you take the 138 patients that are in the hospital in Amarillo and divide that by hospitalization rate captivity of 940 between the two hospitals, the city is at 14.6%. He said the citizen need to realize that we are stressing our hospitals.

Some local hospitals having to send patients as far as Oklahoma City because Lubbock is getting pretty full too.

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