MIDLAND, Texas — Midland Memorial Hospital is feeling the repercussions of this COVID-19 influx along with everyone else in West Texas.
In Thursday morning’s press conference hospital officials told us they are not concerned about more people testing positive here, but they do worry more people with COVID-19 will need to be hospitalized.
If that is the case, they may not have enough staff to go around.
The problem is twofold. On one side you have more COVID-19 cases needing to be hospitalized (as of Thursday they have 22 COVID-19 patients). On the other side of it, more hospital staff are also testing positive (41 employees).
Hospital officials tell NewsWest 9 they are trying to stay on top of this situation.
“We're seeing hundreds of more people test positive in the community and our staff live here so we are among some of those" Russell Meyers, Midland Health CEO, said. "That’s part of our reality.”
A reality, that the hospital is trying to get a grip on.
“We’ve tried to be diligent about educating our staff, we require people to wear a mask, social distance," Meyers said. "But we’re not in control of their behaviors when they’re not at the hospital and they go out in the community."
More staff testing positive, means less care for patients.
That is the biggest fear for the hospital’s doctors, nurses and administrative staff.
“We’re very concerned about it not only because these people are very sick but also because we rely on them to care for others," Meyers said.
Actively monitoring staff is one way the hospital is trying to fix the problem.
“We are working with it the best way we can with our employee health team," Meyers said. "Anytime someone is showing any symptoms we get them tested, we get them out of the building so they don’t expose anybody else at work.”
Bringing staff members back into the building is a thorough process.
They must quarantine for 14 days from when the onset of their symptoms began and must not have a fever or symptoms for three consecutive days.