• June 3, 2020

More businesses open, cases rise - Odessa American: Local News

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More businesses open, cases rise

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Posted: Monday, May 18, 2020 5:31 pm

As gyms, manufacturing facilities and offices opened at 25 percent capacity Monday, trainers and fitness folks showed excitement being able to get back to work and back to working out.

Flex 24 Fitness Assistant Manager Jill Slatten, 48, said her and other employees were just excited to be out of the house and although Flex 24 is being conservative while reopening, keeping some machines shut down and waiting to start fitness classes, she estimated around 150 people visited the gym Monday morning.

Fitness 24 LLC like other gyms shut down to the public for about a month and a half because of the coronavirus pandemic and in that time, Slatten said employees deep cleaned equipment and high touch surfaces.

Some of the fitness class restrictions depend on the attendance in the gyms as well as the fluidity of Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders in the coming weeks, Slatten said.

“We’ve got signs on certain machines that people can’t use so it keeps the social distancing. We’ve got some of the machines completely turned off,” she said, “That’s different of how we’ve got things set up to where we’re trying to keep people spaced out apart from each other.”

She said she’s had quite a few phone calls of excited customers asking if they can come into the gym and added that “working out is a No. 1 way to relieve stress and there’s so many people without jobs or going through all of this and this is the place they need to be.”

People are ready, she said.

“They’re wanting to get back in here and get their fitness on and we’re gonna have a bunch of really sore people walking around this week,” she said.

While gyms around the U.S. opened illegally in defiance of restrictive orders which some claim unconstitutionally kept them from gaining revenue causing them to close, Slatten said that the owner of Flex 24 said that closing was a big financial hit and it’s going to take some time to recover.

“It’s been tough,” Slatten said, “It’s gave us a big kick in the gut, but we’re gonna be fine. We’ll come back from it.”

As the next phase of reopening gains traction in the state opening businesses previously closed, Texas has seen 1,801 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday which the Houston Chronicle reports is the biggest single-day jump in cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Houston Chronicle detailed that the jump is mostly due to more than 700 new cases in Amarillo.

Ector County has reported nine new cases since last Friday with 115 total positive cases, 79 of those recovered, four deaths, 32 cases currently active and 116 pending.

Out of 293 calls to the Ector County Coliseum drive-thru testing, 138 have been tested and 12 tested positive.

During Monday’s Zoom hospital news briefing, Medical Center Hospital President and CEO Russell Tippin said that out of 978 total tests, 62 have been positive, 876 negative and no one positive or under investigation is in the hospital.

MCH Chief Nursing Officer Christin Timmons said that over the weekend an employee at the west university family clinic tested positive for the virus and was asymptomatic. Her last day at work was on May 14 and MCH is trying to call all of the 49 patients she had come into contact with and will monitor employees who worked with her.

Out of 363 tests Odessa Regional Medical Center reported 15 positives, 343 negative, five pending and one COVID-19 positive patient in the hospital with hopes of getting that patient Remdesivir from MCH.

ORMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan discussed how the Abbott rapid tests have been found to produce false negatives.

Gov. Abbott also opened other businesses Monday including childcare services, massage and personal care services, youth clubs/activities and tattoo parlors.

Abbott also announced that other businesses can open Friday including bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls, aquariums/natural caverns, rodeos and other equestrian events limited to 25 percent capacity.

Odessa, TX

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