ODESSA, TEXAS (Big 2 / Fox 24 ) – Hospitals here in the Permian Basin are anticipating another surge of COVID-19 cases now that Thanksgiving has passed. Chief Medical Officer of Permian Regional Medical Center, Dr. Alyssa Tochterman said another surge of COVID cases is inevitable and that will cause even more problems.
“We’re doing a lot of counseling this week already, since Monday, about what to do as far as quarantine because of their own symptoms or exposure to a known suspected case of COVID, so we know it’s coming,” Dr. Tochterman said. “By taking up so many beds, and taking up other medical resources, and allowing us to be able to transfer patients to bigger hospitals, its affecting patients who come in a get admitted for non-COVID things as well.”
Dr. Tochterman said her hospital has been preparing for another surge with more supplies and medical staff. They have also teamed up with smaller hospitals that can treat non-COVID patients. But another COVID surge will have more devastating effects on healthcare workers.
“Several physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists throughout our state and our West Texas region have died,” Dr. Totcherman said. ” We know it’s going to keep happening.”
Other local hospitals like Odessa Regional Medical Center have been reaching capacity. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan said his hospital may have to turn to tents if more COVID patients arrive.
“Tents are a real possibility,” Dr. Saravanan said. “But let’s hope we can meet the space within the building of the hospital itself so we don’t need to do this outside in tents.”
But while we may not see the effects of thanksgiving until at least two weeks, Dr.Tochterman hopes others will start to take this virus more seriously.
“I’m just hoping that people maybe see what the after affects are and don’t do it again for Christmas.”