(Big 2/Fox 24) – While the majority of the state is opening back up, case numbers are still going up in the Permian Basin.
On Monday, both Midland and Ector County saw large increases in the number of confirmed cases.
In Midland County, 14 Coronavirus cases were confirmed from the weekend. City officials say the number also includes several employees at McDonald’s on Loop 250.
Meanwhile, in Ector County, local health officials saw the largest increase yet with 18 new confirmed cases. Two new COVID-19 related deaths were also reported over the weekend at Medical Center Hospital.
From a statewide perspective, there was some good news. Just 638 cases were confirmed on Monday, representing a drop from last week.
Currently, Phase III of Governor Greg Abbott’s re-opening plan is underway, which allows more businesses to open their doors and capacity to increase, while also allowing athletic events to resume.
However, Governor Abbott also announced last week that with the ongoing protests across the state, more resources would be made available to communities who see case numbers rise.
Protests across the nation have held the headlines in recent weeks and health officials have shared their concerns on how it might impact the national overview of Coronavirus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is among them saying protests could be a recipe for infections to continue throughout the US.
“So, now we have to tiptoe and carefully and prudently pay attention to the public health measures and try to get the country back to some form of normality at the same time that we don’t pull back so much the we have a re-explosion of cases,” Dr. Fauci said. “This virus spreads very efficiently so if you are waiting for it to all of a sudden disappear on its own without you doing anything, I think you are going to have a long wait.”
One thing remains clear for doctors across the country, including those here in the Permian Basin though. Wearing a mask in public and social distancing should still be a priority.
“This is not something we can take lightly, we have to be very careful.” Dr. Rohith Saravanan, Chief Medical Officer at ORMC, said Monday afternoon.