MMH reporting 26 deaths so far in October as COVID-19 census holds steady

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MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- Midland Memorial Hospital held a news conference Tuesday to update the community on coronavirus hospitalizations. So far in October, the hospital says 26 patients have died from complications related to the virus. Which means the death rate remains high, even as the number of patients hospitalized with the virus continues to hover in the low to mid-thirties. 

As of Tuesday morning, the hospital said it is caring for 34 patients with COVID-19. Of those 34, 25 are said to be actively infected with the virus while nine remain hospitalized as they continue to recover. The patients range in age from 22 to 83. The hospital said all but three of those patients are unvaccinated. 

The positivity rate at the hospital’s testing centers continues to decline. The hospital said last week, the positivity rate was 12.5%.

“The numbers are moving in a positive direction. We’ve been below 20 (%) for the last couple of weeks,” said Chief Operating Officer Stephen Bowerman. 

Several weeks ago, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wilson said a positivity rate of about 10% would ensure a much lower hospital census. Which is great news for hospital leaders who are working to balance their resources as they prepare to say goodbye to workers sent by the state. 

“We still have a good number (of state provided nurses) here who are caring for our 204 in patients as well as the 34 COVID patients…but those numbers will continue to drop. That will have an impact on the number of staff we have available to rake care of patients. We really want to avoid another surge,” Bowerman said. 

To help prevent another surge, Bowerman said those in at-risk populations who are obese or have other underlying health conditions and are most at risk for hospitalization should remain cautious and get vaccinated if possible. 

“We want you to be protected,” he said. 

In Midland, 47.9% of those eligible are fully vaccinated, while 55.3% have received at last one dose. 

The hospital will be giving first and second doses as well as boosters of all three vaccines again Tuesday at the F Marie Hall Outpatient Surgery Center. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call 221-4VAX to schedule an appointment. 

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