Midland Health to discuss COVID-19 response

Local News

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Midland Health will discuss their ongoing Coronavirus response Tuesday.

Last week, Midland Health CEO Russell Meyers said cases are going down and fewer people are getting tested, but reminded residents that the virus is not gone from the community.

“We are encouraged by the fact that fewer people are seeking testing, which means fewer people are sick. Fewer people are turning out to be positive,” Meyers said. “We’ve now had six weeks in a row of (reduced) numbers of positive tests in our testing sites, both the numbers of patients appearing for tests and the percentage of those tests coming back positive. So while we consider those to be encouraging numbers and the hospital’s declining census to be encouraging, under no circumstance do we believe the virus has been eliminated from the community. That is not going to happen until there is a vaccination for the virus and or an effective treatment that can be used broadly to eradicate it.”

The data from Midland County shows that daily case numbers have dropped significantly in recent weeks, although virus-related deaths have seemingly remained consistent over the same time period.

With data trending in the right direction, officials say they are looking more broad testing capabilities and for ways to begin reopening the community.

Mayor Patrick Payton even called on local State representatives to push for a special session to begin tackling the Coronavirus impact in Texas.

Additionally, Payton made the case that cities in the Permian Basin, who appear to have turned the tide on COVID-19 should be allowed to reopen more businesses and lift restrictions that the entire state is currently held to by Governor Greg Abbott’s executive orders.

“One of the things we are very concerned about, as all of you are, is the continuing opportunity to be able to open up our businesses and our economy, but we want to make sure we are doing that in a very healthy and safe manner,” Payton said last week. “In that regard, we are spending quite a bit of time talking to the Governor’s office and talking with our partners that are affiliated with the Governor’s Office, trying to work on legislation and some areas where we can free up the things we need to do here in Midland, because we are not Dallas, we are not San Antonio, we are not Houston, we are not Austin and we firmly believe, that in cooperation with our hospital and our health department and others, there are some decisions we can make to be able to open some things back up and continue to move towards a safe and healthy opening of our economy here in Midland.”

As of Monday, the total case count in Midland County was at 3094 with 64 virus related deaths.

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