MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- “A new COVID spike is underway here in Midland,” said Midland Memorial Hospital’s Russel Meyers in a news conference with Midland Unified Command Wednesday.
According to Meyers, Midland Memorial is currently treating 24 people with serious COVID-19 symptoms.
That number may not seem that alarming, but Meyers says their COVID-19 census has increased 500% since July 4.
“That kind of growth is almost unprecedented and if it continues, it will severely tax our ability to keep up with the disease,” Meyers said.
As of Wednesday, the hospital is caring for 190 additional patients who do not have COVID-19. However, should COVID-19 hospitalizations grow, they have only nine beds available, and a staffing shortage that would make additional COVID-19 hospitalizations tough for the hospital to handle.
According to Meyers, MMH is already calling for traveling staff to help meet the need, they are also working to discharge patients who are in the hospital electively to try and free up some beds, “We are almost certain to need it,” he said.
“Positive lab results are increasing in the community,” Meyers said. “Lab results from people who are not yet sick enough to be hospitalized is a leading indicator for likely future hospitalizations. As long as those numbers are going up, we have reason to expect the hospital census will continue to go up. At least for another two to three weeks. It remains to be seen how the pattern continues within the community.”
Meyers also said the hospital may have to consider changing their visitor policy yet again. They plan to re-evaluate that policy next week over fears that unvaccinated visitors may bring the disease to the hospital and put other patients at risk.
As the Delta variant moves through the community, Meyers is calling on those who have yet to get vaccinated against the coronavirus to do so as soon as possible.
“Vaccination is absolutely essential if we are going to combat this disease,” Meyers said.
The Midland County Health Department has been tracking COVID-19 infections among those already vaccinated. According to their data, 99.93% of vaccinated people within the community have not gotten the disease after vaccination. And of the .07% of vaccinated Midlanders who have gotten COVID-19, the majority have avoided serious complications and hospitalization.
“Vaccinations work, as of today, no vaccinated person has died in Midland County. Not one,” Meyers said.
If you are not yet vaccinated, and are interested in getting your vaccine, there are several upcoming clinics to do so.