COVID-19 hospitalization rates continue to fall ahead of flu season, related deaths still high


ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- Medical Center Hospital and Odessa Regional Medical Center held a news conference Monday to update the community on coronavirus hospitalizations. 

As of Monday morning, MCH reported it is caring for 42 patients with the virus. 14 of those hospitalized are on a ventilator. The patients range in age from 31 to 93. Hospital leaders say about 90% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.13 of the patients at MCH are from surrounding counties. 

ORMC said it is caring for 17 patients with the virus and that four of those patients are on a ventilator. According to the hospital about 88% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. About 64% of the patients at ORMC are over the age of 50 and all the patients at ORMC are from Ector County. 

Both hospitals say their inpatient COVID-19 census continues to fall but are urging caution ahead of the upcoming flu season. 

“The winter season is coming and we do see respiratory viruses during that time. Flu will be one of them that we see this year,” said ORMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan. “Let’s do our best to control it. We definitely don’t want to find out what happens when we have two viruses raging in the community.”

Hospital leaders say they are also preparing for COVID-19 cases to spike around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, just as they did last year. As such, they continue to encourage both flu and coronavirus vaccinations, as well as mask wearing and social distancing. Especially since coronavirus related deaths remain high. 

“One death is too many,” said MCH’s Chief Executive Officer Russell Tippen. 

MCH says it has had seven COVID-19 related deaths in the last seven days. 

“That’s about a death a day, and that’s far too many,” said MCH’s Public Information Officer Trevor Tankersley. 

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