Mayor Payton to talk COVID-19 numbers in Midland County

Local News

MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Midland Mayor Patrick Payton, along with Midland Health CEO Russell Meyers will address the community on Thursday.

While it is unclear exactly what they plan to discuss, City officials say the subject will be Coronavirus. The address will come as case numbers have risen significantly over the past 10 days.

During that time period, nearly 300 cases have been confirmed in Midland County. Local Health officials say with the spike in case numbers, the visitation policy restrictions at Midland Memorial Hospital have increased and said they plan to open another COVID-19 testing site as demand increases.

What is taking place in Midland is similar to the view state-wide. On Wednesday, Texas saw a record high of daily confirmed cases, 5,551.

The spike in numbers prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to pause any additional phases of the reopening plan. The Governor also issued a halt to elective procedures at hospitals in large cities, to accommodate the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Midland Memorial Hospital was not included in that executive order from Gov. Abbott. However, local hospital officials say they are continuously monitoring their elective procedures and evaluating the best course of action.

Mayor Payton has previously said he and City Council are not currently considering a mandatory mask ordinance, leaving the choice up to residents of the Tall City.

Additionally, Midland Health CEO Russell Meyers addressed a mask ordinance in their Thursday morning briefing saying, it wouldn’t be enforceable but that he was amazed that residents were not heeding the warnings from medical personnel.

“The problem with a mask mandate, in my mind, is enforcement,” Meyers said. “That’s a concern we’ve heard the Mayor express as well. It is fine to say that everybody has to wear a mask but I think it is very difficult for us to suggest the police force or others be deployed specifically to enforce a mask mandate. It is also sort of amazing to me that we have to tell adults in our community who are witnessing these explosive increases and positive cases every day that they must wear a mask.”

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