ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – COVID-19 hospitalization rates in West Texas reached more than 15 percent over the weekend. That percentage is the threshold provided by Governor Greg Abbott, to see more COVID-19 restrictions.
In order to see those restrictions go into effect, our trauma service area must have a hospitalization rate above 15 percent for 7 straight days. Right now, we are at 2 days. On Friday, that number was just more than 12 percent.
The service area that includes West Texas stretches from the northern Permian Basin to Texas’ southern border.
Local doctors suggest that since we are 2 weeks from the Christmas, that it may be the reason why we’re seeing that increase in hospitalizations.
“We can definitely see that there’s been a little bit of an increase, that’s almost expected after a holiday where people have gotten together,” Dr. Rohith Saravanan of Odessa Regional Medical Center says.
“I certainly think we could see more restrictions if things get heated up again.” Dr. Larry Wilson of Midland Health says, “But I’m optimistic that we won’t see them.”
Both doctors agree, there’s only two things that can help that hospitalization rate The first: following CDC guidelines, such as wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing. The second is the widespread rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Wilson says that we have to “fight the good fight” until the widespread vaccine rollout. He estimates that the rollout could take 6 months or longer.
Dr. Saravanan agrees: “The hospitalization rate will go up and down until there is a dramatic change in management, and that change in management is the vaccine.”