Health centers react to spike in COVID-19 cases

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 10:43 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - With the number of Coronavirus cases continuing to rise in Wichita County, healthcare providers in Wichita Falls say they are prepared for the spike.

“When we went from under a hundred cases to 270 cases in the matter of a couple of weeks, that’s something that caught everybody’s attention,” Phyllis Cowling, CEO of United Regional said.

Cowling adds her facilities are more than prepared.

“Very good shape on beds, we’re not tight at all on beds, both critical care beds as well as medical surge beds so we do have capacity,” Cowling said. “Our PPE is actually better now than it was on the onset of the pandemic in Wichita Falls back in mid-March.”

For Community Healthcare, who’s been doing COVID-19 testing since March, they’ve seen the increase in testing firsthand.

“A four-fold increase from those average, 10 weeks before to last week and then this week we will be almost a doubling again,” Allen Patterson, CEO of Community Healthcare said.

With hundreds of tests performed there this week, Patterson explains what that means for the results.

“The positivity rate is going up, meaning a lot more people are being found to be positive,” Patterson said.

He also credits the kinds of tests they are using leaves little room for false results, like some other rapid testing being done elsewhere in the state.

“That’s the antigen tests for the most part and it’s got right now a lot of false positives and false negatives. We’re not doing that at all, we’re doing the molecular testing and that has a tremendous amount of accuracy,” Patterson said.

With plenty of tests in reserve, Community Healthcare can keep up with the demand. For United Regional, their concern is more staff testing positive for the virus. Right now, they have around 20 all from community spread.

“That’s manageable, you know if it gets up to 200 it’s a different story,” Cowling said.

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