ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- Medical Center Hospital, along with Odessa Regional Medical Center, held a news conference Monday to update the community on coronavirus hospitalizations. 

MCH talked specifically about two changes within the hospital amid a lower COVID-19 patient census. 

As of Monday, MCH says it has resumed elective surgeries for patients who don’t require an overnight hospital stay. For now, the hospital is not scheduling elective operations for anyone who might require an overnight stay; the hospital says it will reevaluate that decision again in two weeks. 

The second change concerns extended visitation for non-coronavirus patients being treated in the Critical Care Unit. Beginning Tuesday, patients testing negative for the virus will be allowed to have visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Patients will still be limited to one visitor per day and all visitors will be required to mask up and will be asked screening questions upon arriving at the hospital. For COVID-19 patients in CCU, MCH says visiting hours will remain limited to 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for now.

As of Monday, MCH says it is caring for 87 patients with the virus; however, over the weekend, the hospital saw its coronavirus census dip into the 70s. Of those hospitalized, 28 patients are ventilated. The patients range in age from 16 to 89. 

ORMC says it is caring for 23 patients with the virus, 9 of those patients are ventilated. ORMC’s patients range in age from 30s to 70s, according to the hospital. 

Both hospitals say most hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. That statistic has remained true throughout the most recent surge. Now, the City of Odessa and its partners are gearing up to vaccinate anyone seeking a vaccine.

The drive-thru vaccination clinic will begin Tuesday and will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday for the next few weeks. Workers will be administering first and second doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. The City says booster shots will be available to anyone with a doctor’s note. 

On the topic of vaccines, ORMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan says today Pfizer released data saying the vaccine is effective in children between the ages of 5 and 11. Now, the FDA will review the data and is expected to decide whether or not to give emergency approval for children in that age range. For now, vaccines are only approved for children over the age of 12.