Amarillo Backslides, Returns to Covid Level Red
This morning officials with the City of Amarillo and leaders from all the major healthcare operations hosted an emergency conference to update on the progress of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the Amarillo area and it's not good news
The current numbers from the Amarillo Public Health Department which tracks both Randall and Potter County aren't looking good and the current active cases posted on the site is closing in on 2500. The positive test rate is hovering around 20 percent which according to officials at today's conference haven't been seen since December of last year.
So How Did We Get Here?
The big concern for officials across all the healthcare systems here in Amarillo is while they have the bed space to handle the caseload currently they don't have the staffing levels to handle the load that they are seeing on top of trauma not related to the Delta Variant. That and the lower vaccination rate here in the Amarillo area has also helped the disease spread quickly among those who aren't vaccinated. Officials urged citizens not only of Amarillo but the entire Panhandle area to continue towards getting the vaccine.
Code Red Returns
Because the steady and consistent rise in cases, Officials with Amarillo Public Health have moved the region back in to Code Red protocols. Since it's been a minute since we've been here how about a refresher. The city advises folks to
- Practice Social Distancing
- Use Face Masks in Public Settings
- Practice enhanced hygiene and cleaning routines
- Avoid Social Gatherings
- Avoid Non Essential Travel
- Avoid Non Essential Interactions.
There is still a recommended two week quarantine for those who are unvaccinated. City officials also made it clear they are aware of the Governor's ban on mandates and the protocols are strictly voluntary but highly encouraged.
Mayor Nelson did speak on the governor's mandate asking folks to pray for him as decisions like mandates are not easy to make. She did acknowledge that she is however continuing to follow local guidance
It's not a question of politically how we feel about it or do we think the governor is making the right choice, my response is always to pray for the governor. He's in a really hard place. Otherwise, decisions. Texas is a big state. It is difficult for one person to make a decision that is the right choice for the entire state of Texas but I'm listening to what our local doctors and our local professionals and experts are asking us to do locally, our efforts. our Energy is best spent listening to our doctors, putting all our efforts by what they're asking us to do.
The city of Amarillo also has a full list of locations that are offering the vaccine.