COVID-19 drive-up testing coming to Odessa to help alleviate overwhelmed clinics

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ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- Medical Center Hospital, along with Odessa Regional Medical Center and the City of Odessa held a news conference Thursday to update the community on coronavirus.

As of Thursday, MCH says it is caring for 74 people with the virus, a vast improvement from recent coronavirus hospitalizations. The patients range in age from 30 to 89 and about 77% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. Over at ORMC, there are 21 patients currently hospitalized with the virus, 10 of those patients are on ventilators. ORMC says about 95% of its patients are unvaccinated. 

Even though COVID-19 hospitalizations seem to be declining across the Basin, the City of Odessa is stepping up to ensure those numbers continue to fall. 

In partnership with the University of Texas Permian Basin and the Ector County Health Department, the City is hosting a drive-thru vaccination clinic from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday at the UTPB soccer fields. There, volunteers and staff will be administering first and second doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Pfizer boosters will also be available for anyone over the age of 18 who meets new FDA criteria; over the age of 65, over the age of 18 with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity, and anyone over the age of 18 who works with the public. Pfizer boosters can be administered six months after the second dose. The third does of the Moderna vaccine will also be available to anyone with a not from their physician. 

In addition to the vaccination clinic, the City has announced a free COVID-19 testing clinic will open Monday. From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. starting on September 27th, test seekers can get tested for free at McKinney Park, located at 625 W Pool Road. 

“Hopefully, that’ll relieve some of the stress at the clinics and some of the other areas that are being inundated with testing,” said Chief Rodd Huber. 

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