High hospital numbers reported on the High Plains

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – On Tuesday at the City of Amarillo COVID-19 briefing, members of the hospital community talked about the stress that local hospitals are under from the continuing coronavirus pandemic on the High Plains.

For the last 23 days, the hospitalization rates have been over 15%, with Tuesday’s rate being 31.79%.

Dr. Scott Milton, Amarillo Public Health Authority said hospitals are stressed, especially the ICU.

“Hospitalizations remain worrisome and the numbers continue to climb,” said Dr. Milton.

Chief Medical Officer at Northwest Texas Hospital, Dr. Brian Weis, said they have 284 on the acute side, the highest number Dr. Weis has seen since being at NWTH, with 140 of those with COVID-19.

While at BSA, Dr. Weis said they have 353 on the acute side, another record-breaking number, with 187 of those people with COVID-19.

Dr. Weis said this trend cannot continue.

“We’re at a breaking point here. Let’s make that pretty clear, we’re at a breaking point when it comes to critical care capacity. These numbers are very concerning, we’re at a point where we are having to make some tough decisions as a hospital as how to best treat and take care of these patients in our hospitals,” said Dr. Weis.

Because of capacity, NWTH, BSA, and the VA have all canceled or postponed elective surgeries.

Dr. Weis added that as of right now, the hospitals are trying to expand internally, but if they continue to see the rise in the community, they are starting to make plans now that could be implemented in a matter of days to expand outside the hospitals.

Dr. Weis said for those who are experiencing chest pains, stroke-like symptoms, or acute like ailments, the hospitals want to see you. He said that they have freestanding emergency rooms that you can go to and not to put it off.

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