PERMIAN BASIN (Nexstar)- Midland Memorial Hospital and Medical Center Hospital continue to see a rise in coronavirus hospitalizations as the Omicron variant continues to spread. For the first time since September, each hospital has reported caring for more than 100 patients with the virus.

“We’ve crossed the 100 patient threshold in our COVID census so we continue to remain very busy,” said MMH’s Chief Operating Officer Stephen Bowerman during a news conference Tuesday.

MMH reported it is caring for 103 patients with COVID-19. 12 of those patients are on a ventilator. The patients range in age from 11-days to 96 years. 

Overall, the hospital is caring for 231 patients and has closed to out of county transfer requests. Nine patients in the Emergency Room are currently waiting for a bed. Bowerman said one patient has been holding in the ER for more than two days waiting for a bed to become available. 

“That is not ideal,” Bowerman said. 

Bowerman did note that MMH has received 26 nurses and 2 respiratory therapists from the state and that those resources will allow the hospital to open a few additional beds in the coming days.

At MCH, hospital leaders reported caring for 101 patients with the virus as of Tuesday morning. Those patients range in age from 7-weeks to 96 years. MMH reported last week it has also closed to out of county transfers for now.

Along with the rise in hospitalizations, both hospitals have reported an increase in coronavirus related deaths this month as well. So far in January, MMH has reported 18 deaths, MCH has reported at least 10. That’s up from a reported 15 in December for MMH and 18 for MCH. 

In its news conference Tuesday, MMH said it also continues to see a rise in positivity at its testing center, which falls in line with an increase in hospitalizations. The testing center at the F. Marie Hall is, so far, reporting a 53.7% positivity rate this week, that’s up from 50.7% last week. 

“We continue to see really big numbers. The number is extremely high and continues to go up,” Bowerman said. 

Anyone seeking a test is encouraged to call 68NURSE for an appointment.

In both cities, hospital leaders are again encouraging vaccines for anyone eligible to help mitigate the current surge.