• August 9, 2020

Stay home for the holiday - Odessa American: News

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Stay home for the holiday

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Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2020 6:21 pm

As coronavirus cases rise in Ector County, hospital officials urge Odessans to stay home for Easter weekend.

During Thursday’s virtual hospital press conference, Medical Center Hospital who usually records the press conferences and posts them live on Facebook was unable to do so due to technical issues.

Ector County Health Department Director Brandy Garcia reported that the county has 39 positive cases, 266 negative cases, 92 pending, nine recovered and one death. Garcia said that they will now be adding numbers of those recovered from the virus to the Ector County Health Department website.

MCH President and CEO Russell Tippin reported that MCH has 22 positives, five positive cases in the hospital, four in CCU who are on ventilators and one on another coronavirus designated floor. He said MCH has 119 negatives, 10 persons under investigation at the Hospital, four in CCU, five on another COVID-19 designated floor, and one in the pediatric unit.

Tippin added “All of our other positives are at home, discharged and are recovering at home so that’s good news.”

Odessa Regional Medical Hospital President Stacey Brown reported that ORMC has tested 103, nine of which are positive, 77 negative, four persons under investigation, two confirmed and another person on a ventilator.

ORMC Chief Medical Officer Rohith Saravanan said that his only advice would be stay home.

“Home is the best place for the holidays and that can’t be more true for this holiday…I encourage everyone to stay home and not congregate in places,” he said.

He urged that people keep following CDC guidelines for social distancing and if people plan to travel internationally for the holidays, then they should quarantine for 14 days upon returning home per CDC recommendations. He said that the CDC recommends that people avoid all nonessential international travel at this time.

Garcia said that as the EOC team is filling up space at the Southside Senior Center, they are looking for other options to make sure they are social distancing as well as considering how their investigators and tracers can work from home.

County Commissioner Dale Childers said that the EOC is comprised of Ector County employees, city employees, as well as nursing students from UTPB.

“Typically right now,” he said. “It’s mostly city and county but we’re looking towards expanding because as we expand the number of cases we’re gonna have to have a lot more people doing tracing.” Childers said that they are in contact with UTPB and Texas Tech and that the EOC is considering doing a lot more virtually.

Childers said that they are planning to look at doing a testing spot at the coliseum in the future and said they didn’t know all of the details yet, but that they would look to UTPB and Texas Tech for staffing because the hospitals are, “Under stress staffing their own situations.” He said that the EOC is still not sure if they can do it, but they are looking at the many facets to be able to do a testing site.

As far as enforcing a shelter-in-place, Childers said that, “I know that the Sheriff has been and I think that the Police Department been looking at some locations that are blatantly violating that rule,” but for social distancing, they are relying on the public following those rules whether it be the six foot rule or wearing masks.

Garcia said that the EOC has three or four lead investigators investigating positive COVID-19 patients and tracers under each one to investigate the household spread, workplace spread, and other locations where the positive case may have exposed others to the virus. She said that they have a little over 20 people and are training five currently and will continue to train people to help.

Odessa, TX

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