Lubbock health officials discuss decreasing numbers, future COVID concerns

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Reported COVID cases across the country have begun to come down over the last couple of weeks. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Michael Ragain said as of Tuesday morning, they have six open beds in the Intensive Care Unit. The emergency room’s average wait time is five hours rather than 50. 

That is a slight improvement from the past few weeks. However, the recurring trend appears to be that every time a bed opens up, it quickly gets filled. UMC Health’s referral numbers have also decreased. 

“These numbers are down about 14 percent certainly because we had to deny a whole lot of patients because we didn’t have the beds,” Dr. Ragain said.   

The Director of the Health Department Katherine Wells said the slight drop in COVID cases may not fully indicate that things are getting better.  

“We’re still reporting ninety to a hundred cases a day. So, we still have a significant amount of disease in the community. We’re just not seeing that rise and we are seeing the numbers come down,” Wells said.

September was one of the highest reported months of COVID cases this year. While COVID is still keeping health professionals busy, Dr. Ragain said they’re really concerned about what the next few months may bring. 

“I think we are really worried and you may hear a ‘twin-demic’ and that would be COVID and flu. Right so both of those are going to be active this winter,” Dr. Ragain said.  

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