High Plains leads the state in COVID-19 cases per a thousand persons

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As of today, the High Plains is sitting just behind the El Paso area in terms of hospitalization rates.

Amarillo’s Trauma Service Area, Trauma Service Area A, has a hospitalization rate of 34.8%. In the state of Texas, that is the second highest number, with El Paso leading again with 37.98%.

However, the Panhandle area is still leading a different category.

Dr. Michael Lamanteer, Chief Medical Officer at BSA, explained, “when I was reviewing the stats yesterday, in terms of cases per a thousand, that comes out of our state website, we have now surpassed El Paso, in terms of cases per a thousand persons.”

This surpassing El Paso’s numbers in just the past seven days.

Dr. Lamanteer explained that we are now in the mid-90’s, in terms of cases per a thousand persons.

Another continuous concern is staffing.

Dr. Lamanteer stated, “”we are at that point where we are at our maximal staffing capacity. Clearly the RAC has been a substantial benefit to our region, in terms of supplying a large number of healthcare workers, nurses, respiratory therapists, and now even physicians.”

Dr. Lamanteer later commented that to think our region will continue to be the region that is so maximally supported is not a safe assumption.

“There’s going to be a point at which those resources are going to have to be rationed to other parts of our state, so that we can help all parts of the state that may be getting a delayed surge compared to what we’re experiencing,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

Also in the weekly City COVID update, Northwest Texas Hospital reported that 127 staff members are in quarantine.

With 50 staff members expected to return to work this coming Monday, Northwest’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Weis, reminded everyone how tired their staff is.

“Yes, they may be doing okay today, but they’re getting tired. They’ve been doing this for months and months and then most of them have not had days off,” stated Dr. Weis.

He later stated, “We’re at the point where we can’t take much more of this and any significant increase is going to break the system.”

As of yesterday, Dr. Lamanteer shared that BSA has 153 nurses and 35 respiratory therapists from the RAC that have been helping the hospital manage patient population.

Dr. Weis also mentioned that a concern they are hearing about is the number of patients in regional facilities requiring critical care right now and waiting to be transferred into a higher level of care.

Dr. Weis explained this is concerning, as a lot of those regional hospitals were never built for critical care capacity.

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