One year anniversary of COVID-19 in Texas

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — This week marks a year since the Texas Department of State Health Services reported its first case of COVID-19.

In the beginning of November, the City of Amarillo had to expand its morgue capacity with a mobile trailer.

Amarillo has seen close to 700 people die from COVID-19.

One year since the pandemic began, 12% of people in the Amarillo metro area are fully vaccinated–that according to

Chief Medical Officer at BSA, Dr. Michael Lamanteer, said even as the city hit status level red and had high hospitalization rates, they didn’t transfer patients to other hospitals.

“To be as successful as we’ve been with creating hospital capacity to take care of sick patients at unprecedented numbers and in terms of intensive care taxation. What types of support services we needed, whether it be staffing, equipment, etc. We were able to get that done and we did not have to send patients out of Amarillo to take care of them,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

While Dr. Brian Weis, chief medical officer at Northwest Texas Hospital reflected on the outpouring of love the community showed this year to medical workers.

“I mean, people were struggling in this community, yet they continue to support the hospitals and staff, and just incredible outpourings of generosity,” said Dr. Weis.

Mayor Ginger Nelson said the biggest takeaway from this year was the willingness to adapt on both the city’s and community’s part.

“We’d like to get stuck in our ways. We’d like to do things the way we’ve always done them. But this is going to require us to continue to change and through change, every change is an opportunity to improve,” added Mayor Nelson.

Mayor Nelson said that we will be better from this willingness to evolve.

The mayor continued that a prime example of this is the City of Amarillo’s successful vaccine clinic.

The vaccine clinic at the civic center has been open since December of last year and the city is currently under status level orange.

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