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Update on the Spread of COVID-19 Locally

December 1, 2020 – Though Ochiltree General Hospital has been monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases since early March, we saw a low rate of COVID-19 until early September when most of the Texas Panhandle reported surges in positive cases. The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting that Ochiltree County has had 554 positive cases of COVID-19 reported as of November 30, 2020. It is also important to remember that the DSHS website is delayed by approximately three to seven days.


Ochiltree General’s Laboratory has completed 734 COVID-19 tests as of November 29, 2020, with 325 positives in that same time frame. That is a positivity rate of 58.3 percent which is much higher than the statewide rate as well as the national average.


The state of Texas reports that 10,395,826 COVID-19 tests have been performed with 11.69 percent being positive.


Although fatalities make up 1.12 percent of outcomes, COVID-19 can affect individuals in dramatically different ways. We have had reports of severe sinus headaches, body aches, pneumonia and diarrhea. As of this time, the only way not to infect other individuals is to quarantine yourself or family members who are exhibiting symptoms. It is also important to remember we have seen some individuals who are infected by being around a person who has not yet exhibited or may never exhibit symptoms.


Our local hospital has the capacity to care for eight COVID-19 patients simultaneously. Fortunately, our rate of hospitalization has been lower than the statewide average of 11 percent. Due to these numbers, Ochiltree General has been able to receive patients from Pampa, Amarillo and surrounding areas. We are proud to be able assist other communities during this unprecedented time while still providing the highest level of care we can give to our own residents.


It is the responsibility of each and every person to try to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Our community can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask and keeping a distance of at least six feet. Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer is also advised. As we enter into flu season, these safety precautions will become even more important. Your local hospital has received word about the COVID-19 vaccine, but dates on availability seem to change day to day. As soon as we get definitive information on release dates, we will make the public aware of how the vaccine is going to be distributed locally.


The full-service onsite Laboratory Department at Ochiltree General is proud to offer COVID-19 PCR testing as well as antibody testing 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a physician’s order. For a list of local primary care physicians, please visit www.ochiltreehospital.com/physicians.


Ochiltree General Hospital, your hometown critical access hospital, offers an expansive collection of programs and services designed with you in mind. From our Obstetrics and Women’s Health services to the programs at The Seasons Assisted Living, our aim is to provide for you and your loved ones no matter the stage of life or need.


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