• August 9, 2020

EOC says communication will improve - Odessa American: News

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EOC says communication will improve

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Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 6:31 pm

During Wednesday’s virtual hospital press conference, Ector County Health Department Emergency Operation Center officials said that they will do better to communicate with hospitals and the public relating to the coronavirus.

The Ector County Emergency Operations Center website shows as of 1:56 p.m. Wednesday that there are 34 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 266 negative cases, 97 pending lab results, and 397 total tested. One patient has died in Ector County.

Medical Center Hospital President and CEO Russell Tippin reported that MCH has 17 positives, 86 negatives, 45 pending, four in critical care and five on another floor. Tippin said there are nine persons of interest in the hospital.

Odessa Regional Medical Center President Stacey Brown reported that ORMC has tested 87 people with nine positive, 65 negatives and 13 pending. She reported that they have five in house, four under investigation and one confirmed case that was able to get off the ventilator.

ECHD Director Brandy Garcia addressed some of the problems the EOC has had communicating to the public by navigating the different hospital numbers and said that they are communicating to try and make sure information is released in a, “timely manner.”

“This is new,” she said. “We’re all trying to keep that communication and we’re all trying to come up with different procedures and things with the Health Department and with the hospital.”

Garcia said that the lack in communication between the hospitals, the Ector County Health Department and EOC is something they are aware of and something they are working on improving. She said that they are navigating the different reporting processes that the hospitals use.

Regarding the lack of communication to the public about Ector County’s first COVID-19 related death on Monday County Commissioner Dale Childers said that, “One of things we wanna do is after we get the information, we wanna get it to the news media. Obviously that was a news worthy event and so we’re gonna try and do that. If it’s during business hours within an hour or so and if it comes in late at night, we’ll put it out pretty early the next morning so I think that’s the one area where we can certainly do better.”

Garcia said that for deaths, the Health Department, “Can work on procedures where we will release that as we get confirmation.”

Childers said that many procedures are changing because they are ramping up as each case comes in. They are training more people every day and are looking for more people to work on the phones.

When asked if the EOC would have press conferences to give information Childers said that they would consider anything but said they are not using the City of Odessa Public Information Officer to release information saying the daily briefings were “working pretty well.”

This is the first press conference that the Ector County Health Department has been to in around a week.

Childers said that, “Somebody with the EOC or myself or the Health Department, yes everyday we’ll make sure we get with you” regarding coronavirus information.

ORMC Chief Medical Officer Rohith Saravanan said the public can get answers to questions about social distancing, what symptoms to check for and what to do if sick at tinyurl.com/uul9var. He also said that the Texas Dashboard for cases in Texas is located at tinyurl.com/r2tljsw. Saravanan also showed a new Stanford report on the current amount of confirmed cases in Texas. He showed that the trajectory is community specific and that the rise in cases is looking like it will happen at the end of April or the beginning of May in Odessa.

He mentioned previous comments regarding social distancing and said that by the community following 50 percent of social distancing protocol, the peak of cases will drop and allow the health systems to keep up with the virus.

In other news:

>> CBS 7 reported that MCH and ORMC have furloughed around 100 employees

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