WATCH: ‘We’ve really come a long way,’ City Officials brief on COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

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

Firstly, Mayor Ginger Nelson thanked the community for conserving energy last week during the winter storm.

The Civic Center vaccine clinic has reopened this week after the weather resolved; real-time information about vaccine availability can be found on the City’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

According to the Public Health Department, as of yesterday there were a total of 32,933 cases of COVID-19 in Potter and Randall Counties.

Potter County has reported a total of 16,791 cases. Randall County has reported a total of 16,142 cases. There have been 31,406 recoveries and 670 deaths. Yesterday, the Area Hospitalization Rate was noted as 5.7%.

Noted in the meeting, “We’ve really come a long way,” over the course of the year.

City Officials remain optimistic about current trends in COVID-19 cases, Dr. Milton of BSA credited mask wearing, vaccination efforts, and immunity due to recovery from the virus as significant reasons for the lower numbers.

Dr. Milton was also optimistic about the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which he said may increase vaccination turnout further. This, he credits to the idea that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will only take one dose, instead of two.

Dr. Weis of the Northwest Texas Healthcare System also commented, “Overall, things are looking great,” regarding current trends.

Dr. Weis reported 13 COVID-19 patients currently in NWTHS, with four in the ICU and two on ventilators. There have been 22 deaths from COVID-19 in the hospital this month, Dr. Weis also citing a story from last week; a couple, due to be married in Spring, united in the hospital chapel hours before the woman involved died from COVID-19. Each case and each death, as noted by City health officials, is a unique individual.

Dr. Gonzalez from the VA was glad to report no COVID-19 patients at the VA Hospital. The age for veterans to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine has been lowered to 50, and Dr. Gonzalez heavily encouraged all eligible veterans to make an appointment to receive allotted doses.

The VA is also hosting a vaccination clinic for Childress-area veterans today, and has another for Clovis set for next week.

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