MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – In Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Midland Mayor Patrick Payton says the City Council will meet again today to discuss how they can better tackle the viral outbreak.
Payton says they will look at a number of items to better prepare the city to handle the virus and even praised most businesses for their efforts in fighting the virus.
Additionally, Payton says he expects council will extend what they are already doing and they are waiting on guidance from the Governor.
“What we are looking at right now, is we realize our declaration will expire on Friday, so today’s city council meeting, I wouldn’t call it an emergency meeting it is an extra meeting I called last week so we could continue to discuss it,” Payton said. “I’m sure we will take some issues up as far as are there things we need to tighten up? Are there things we need to make, perhaps, more strict? But I also want our community to understand very well, regardless of what we do on a local level if you are paying attention to what is happening in the state and nationally, the buzz word of shelter in place is really nothing more than a buzz word filled with exceptions after that. The most important thing our citizens can do is to keep doing what they are being asked to do. And if they see our retailers or other people not doing the things that need to be done, make your voice heard.”
Currently, there are 13 confirmed cases in Midland and there has been one confirmed COVID-19 related death.
The Mayor also expressed concern over the local economy and how the city is trying to do what they can for local businesses.
Payton says they are trying to encourage officials at the national level, including the President, to remember the Permian Basin.
“The fact of the matter is, this region supported him (President Trump) greatly and we need him to wake up to what this region is going through as well,” Payton said.
Locally, Payton said people are worried about their health and their jobs so the issues are deep-set in the community and what the true impact is may not yet be known.
“The entire economy of this nation is headed into the tank. Your welders don’t just get to take off and go somewhere else. Your field workers don’t just get to take off and go somewhere else,” The Mayor said. “…It has been interesting because we are out here and nobody cares about us and then in a matter of three days it’s the Washington Post, it’s CNN, it’s NPR and everything else. Everyone acts like they are really concerned about this region and then when everything gets back to whatever normal is, they will start talking about how they hate oil and gas. Quite frankly I’m not concerned about what the nation thinks about us, I’m concerned about how we are taking care of each other and how we are realizing we face different pressures from everyone else.”
Midland Health CEO Russell Meyer then took the podium to provide an update from the hospital perspective.
Meyer says they have sampled 300 patients and they are still waiting on more than 100 results to come back. Additionally, he says the hospital is under half its capacity with just 108 patients total and restrictions are still in place.
Despite the growing numbers, Meyers gave prise to the community saying their willingness to help and donate has been “incredibly generous.”
However, the location for residents to donate has changed to The Abel Hanger Pavillion.