MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Midland Health held a conference this morning to update the Midland community as cases are rising at an alarming rate.
Currently, there are 494 confirmed cases in Midland County. According to Doctor James Humphreys, from Midland Health Department, a majority of the cases are categorized as a contact to a known case, followed by community-acquired then travel related. 11 cases are under investigation.
Humphreys says contact tracing has been a challenge but still looking to hire contact tracers.
“Unfortunately, the people who would be the best at it are not people we would want to take away from a place that might need them worse than we do,” says Humphreys. “But, yes we would probably consider hiring anybody.”
With the topic of having a mandate of wearing masks was shut down by Mayor Patrick Payton. Humphreys and Midland Health CEO Russell Meyers agree that it is something difficult to enforce yet we all share the responsibility to protect ourselves during these times.
“It’s amazing to me we have to tell adults in our community who are witnessing an explosive increase in positive cases every day that they must wear a mask,” says Meyers. “We should all use our good sense. Listen to the experts.”
Statewide we are seeing hospitalizations increase as well Midland Health too.
Currently, there are 20 COVID positive patients in the hospital. Six of those patients are in critical care. Midland Memorial has capacity for 24 patients in critical care and currently, 20 of those spots are taken up.
“We do have contingency plans to add additional critical care capacity should we need it,” says Meyers.
Meyers states the fifth floor is capable of being converted into a critical care unit if necessary and stating multiple levels their contingency plan will help the transition.
Concerns for lack of testing swabs was noted from Meyers and other PPE such as gloves and gowns.
With testing increasing, different labs are being used and each individual lab requires a certain type of swab which Meyers states have been difficult to get.
As of this morning, Governor Abbott has halted elective procedures in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties.
Meyers says he is talking closely with his staff and could be scaling back procedures.
“We are going to be talking about this on a regular basis. We’ll talk about it today. Do we need to dial back any element of our elective procedures to recognize that beds are becoming more difficult to get,” says Meyers.
Restrictions on visitation will be put back in place. No visitors allowed with any in-patient or out-patients. Though there are a few exceptions; patients who are actively dying, patients for whom are incompatible, pediatric patients, patients in labor which allows two people in the room.
To rewatch the full conference, click here.