Eight straight days of COVID-19 hospitalization rates above 15%

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Sunday marks eight straight days the Amarillo area’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate remained above 15%.

As of Sunday morning, many restaurants and businesses had to roll back capacity to 50%. According to Texas DSHS, Sunday’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate for the Amarillo area was 19.62%.

“That’s a very constant increase in hospitalization rate and that’s echoed by what our medical professionals have had to say,” said Jared Miller, Amarillo City Manager at the City of Amarillo’s weekly COVID-19 briefing Wednesday.

BSA Health System’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamanteer said citizens should be concerned.

“These are not inflated numbers. These are the facts in the terms of what is happening at BSA and I think you heard the same things keeping out of Dr.Weis in what our concern is,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

Northwest Texas Healthcare System Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Weis, said they have to shut down elective procedures now.

“We will also have to maintain 10% of our beds available for COVID-19 patients. That puts big barriers and big burdens on the hospitals if we hit that number. My fear is we are not doing anything in the community right now to change getting there,” said Dr. Weis.

Restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, museums, and libraries are down to 50% occupancy.

Deserae Phibbs, store manager at ‘Get Gussied Up’ said they are doing all they can to keep customers and staff safe.

“After each customer transaction, we sanitize. We also have Lysol spray we use as well. We have tape down on the floor by the register just to make sure that the customers are staying six feet apart,” said Phibbs.

Phibbs said if you don’t feel comfortable coming into the store, you can shop on their website or call up to the store and do over the phone orders using PayPal.

Businesses can go back to 75% occupancy if the area’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate goes under 15% and stays there for seven consecutive days.

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