MMH reports 31 COVID-19 deaths for month of August, says positivity rate starting to go down

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MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- Midland Memorial Hospital held a news conference Thursday to update the community on coronavirus. 

To start, MMH says it had 31 patients die in August from the virus. 

“Part of the story of COVID, the worst part, is the deaths associated with it,” said Chief Executive Officer Russell Meyers. “The month of August…proved to be the thirst highest month we’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic.”

The death rates were higher in November and December of 2020, Meyers said. 

“We certainly didn’t expect to see another spike in mortalities here in the summer of 2021,” Meyers remarked. 

So far, there have been two deaths related to the virus in September. 

However, there is some good news, the overall positivity rate at MMH’s testing center has started to decline. 

“Positive numbers are going down a little bit,” Meyers said. “We were at 30% two weeks ago. We were at 28% last week. So far, this week, we’re at 25% positive despite the fact that we’re testing more people than we were.”

If that rate continues to decline, the hospital may soon see relief in the number of patients hospitalized with the virus. In a previous news conference, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wilson said, “as the positivity rate goes, so the hospitalizations go.”

Anyone seeking a test is encouraged to call 68NURSE to set up an appointment. The hospital continues to ask those seeking testing to avoid coming to the ER, unless they are experiencing a true medical emergency. 

As of Thursday, the hospital says it is caring for 103 patients with coronavirus. 23 of those patients are on a ventilator. 87% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. 

As always, hospital leaders are asking those considered high risk to get the vaccine. 

“The most important population that needs to take this vaccination opportunity seriously is those who are obese…if you have a chronic disease…diabetes…any variety of heart conditions, you need to get vaccinated more than anyone else,” Meyers said. 

The hospital has several upcoming vaccination events, you may schedule an appointment for your vaccine here

Overall, the vaccination rate in Midland has increased slightly. The state is reporting 41.4% of eligible Midlanders are fully vaccinated. 51% have received at least one dose. 

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