AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The City of Amarillo briefed the community on the COVID-19 pandemic at 11 a.m.
Foremost, City Officials announced that the Civic Center’s vaccination wait time is very short currently, and encourage as many residents as possible to receive the vaccine. Supply availability will continue to be updated through amarilloalerts.com.
Second doses are set to be given as planned, beginning early next week. The City has updated amarilloalerts.com with a ‘date checker’ in order to assist residents in keeping track of when the second dose of the vaccine is due.
When receiving a second dose from the vaccination center, Officials reminded residents to bring their vaccination cards with first dose dates with them.
According to City Officials, there are a total of 3,146 active COVID-19 cases reported in Potter and Randall Counties. In total there have been 27,461 recoveries, and 561 deaths. There is an average of 143 new cases of COVID-19 a day in the area, and the Area Hospitalization Rate stands at 19.55%.
Although the slight decrease in numbers have officials encouraged, they all continue to advise dedicated social distancing and hand-washing practices.
Dr. Weis of Northwest Texas Healthcare reported 52 COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, and 40 deaths thus far in January. There are 26 COVID-19 patients reported in the NWTH ICU, with eight of those patients on ventilators. The hospital also reported 28 staff members in quarantine.
Regarding the vaccine, Dr. Weis said he has received questions regarding the COVID-19 variations that have recently emerged. He said that the vaccines seem effective against the B117 variant, found previously in the United Kingdom.
However, Dr. Weis also said, “A virus cannot mutate if it doesn’t reproduce,” referring to the need for the community to become vaccinated in order to minimize risk regarding COVID-19 and its variants. A year after the first case in the United States, Dr. Weis continues to encourage caution and dedication in dealing with the pandemic.
Dr. Lamanteer of BSA Healthcare reported 90 COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, 39 of which are in ICU and 27 of that number occupying ventilators.
Dr. Lamanteer also encouraged the community to get vaccinated, insisting, “Previous infection does not mean you should not be vaccinated.”
Dr. Gonzalez of the VA reported 11 veterans in the hospital with COVID-19, with six in the ICU and four of those on ventilators.
The VA has also been vaccinating veterans, and Dr. Gonzalez reported that 75% of the supply of vaccine doses has been expended. Second doses from the VA, he said, are on schedule.
Dr. Gonzalez also encouraged veterans to let the VA know if they have been vaccinated through the Civic Center, in order to help with date tracking and file updates.
Further, approved caregivers can now receive the vaccine alongside veterans through the VA.
Jared Miller, City Manager, reminded the community that the drive-through testing center is currently operational, and Civic Center vaccinations are ongoing. GA’s 29 and 32 remain in effect.
Healthcare officials also reported that the infusion clinic downtown has treated around 70 people. Results have been encouraging, and officials claim the center to be able to serve between eight and 10 patients per day.
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