WATCH: City of Amarillo COVID-19 update Dec. 2

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The City of Amarillo briefed the community on the COVID-19 pandemic at 11 a.m.

The briefing opened with an update on Mayor Ginger Nelson’s condition. The mayor, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, said her condition is improving.

City officials continue to plead for locals to practice social distancing and good hygiene, and to be mindful of risk going into the holiday season.

The City of Amarillo remains at Level Red status. The Panhandle has been over 15% RAC Hospitalization Rate for over a month. As of yesterday, Amarillo stood at 37.05% of all hospitalizations being cases of COVID-19.

Northwest Texas Healthcare (NWTH) reports 111 positive cases of COVID-19. 45 of these patients are currently in the ICU, 24 of whom are on ventilators.

The BSA Health System reports 194 positive COVID-19 patients. 72 of these cases are reported to be in the ICU.

The VA Hospital reports 15 positive cases of COVID-19. 8 of these patients are in the ICU. Although the number may seem small, it is reported that over 50% of total VA patients are COVID-19 positive. 8 patients are non-veterans.

Health officials also report multiple instances of COVID-19 cross-infection with the flu. With that in mind, they remind the community that it is not too late to get a flu shot, and it is very important to do so.

Local hospitals report that due to the high amount of community spread, hospitals are struggling to keep up. These facilities are heavily relying on the Texas RAC resources and working to stretch their capabilities as much as possible, but “… We are tapped out.”

Progress on COVID-19 vaccines is promising, but health officials continue to encourage social distancing practices and good hygiene.

Officials report that local funeral homes are currently backlogged, and the presence of at least two RAC-given morgue trailers to hospitals due to the amount of casualties from the pandemic.

Texas as a whole remains subject to GA 29 and GA 32, Governor’s orders requiring face coverings in public and outlining capacity guidelines in responses to Area Hospitalization Rates.

Last week as well, the City passed an ordinance that they report is supported by state and federal guidelines, regarding COVID-19 response.

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