Hospital officials, health department discuss COVID-19 spike

Local News

UPDATE: 48 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Ector County, according to stats released Thursday.

The total case count is now at 1,092 with 718 confirmed and 374 probable. Additionally, the active case count is now at 678.


ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Case numbers and hospitalizations are still climbing in Ector County as health officials continue their pleas to take the necessary precautions.

Just this week, nearly 200 new cases have been confirmed in Ector County. Stats, as of Wednesday, showed 40 people are currently hospitalized, with 18 patients in the ICU and five on ventilators.

The spike at the local hospitals has forced Medical Center Hospital to enter their “surge plan,” which will expand their COVID unit. Additionally, the hospital says they will not accept transfers and elective procedures that require an overnight stay have been put on hold.

At Odessa Regional Medical Center, officials say they have not hit their capacity yet, but they are preparing should the need arise.

Another concern for hospitals in Odessa is the holiday weekend.

“One thing that really bothers and scares me is we are getting ready and coming up on a long weekend…I’m really worried our emergency rooms are going to see a big increase..,” MCH CEO Russell Tippin said Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the positivity rate had risen to nearly 11 percent and health experts noted that Odessa is well on it’s way to being designated a “hot zone,” a distinction that Mayor David Turner said he has been concerned about for the past two weeks.

Despite the rapidly rising numbers, the Odessa City Council rejected a mandate on masks and county officials say they can talk about it but they “are not in the businesses of mandating things,” Commissioner Eddy Shelton said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Mayor Turner noted it isn’t off the table and he anticipated that the mandate would be revisited by Council at some point.


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