Tuesday, December 1, 2020

COVID-19: Taylor County reports 69th death, 59 new cases Monday

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The Abilene-Taylor County Health District on Monday reported the 69th death connected to COVID-19 and 59 new cases.

The deceased is a woman in her 80s with pre-existing health conditions, officials said in a social media update. Since Oct. 1, 11 deaths have been linked to the illness.

Eight more patients have recovered from the illness. 

The new cases are based on 38 polymerase chain reaction tests and 21 antigen tests.

The number of active cases is 1,216, based on 469 PCR tests and 747 antigen tests. 

Hospitalizations at Abilene facilities for COVID-19 has increased by one to 28, compared to Sunday’s update. The average age of the inpatients is 62, and 10 live outside the county.

Hendrick’s COVID-19 census approaching 15% of admitted patients

Hendrick Medical Center’s COVID-19 census Monday, as a percent of admitted patients, is 14.3%, Hendrick Health System President/CEO Brad Holland said in a statement.  

“This past weekend alone, Hendrick Medical Center unfortunately had to deny surrounding healthcare facilities the ability to transfer inpatients to our care,” Holland said.

“Not all of these transfer requests were COVID-19 related, but it demonstrates the increased need as the pandemic continues for acute hospital services in our region, state and nation.”

This weekend, Lubbock’s trauma service area joined Amarillo and El Paso by surpassing the state’s definition of a rolling seven-day 15% threshold for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Reaching that threshold “will most likely trigger the Texas governor to again reduce business capacity in that region,” Holland said. 

While the Big Country trauma service area has not reached 15%, “we are concerned that we may well be on our way,” Holland said. 

He based that on the historical hospitalization rate of active cases, which has spiked in recent weeks, and Hendrick’s current COVID-19 census at 14.3%.

“COVID-19 related hospitalizations continue to increase at both Abilene hospitals as the most pressing need is access to intensive care units, which remain full or at capacity,” Holland said. 

Mask wearing, social distancing, good hand hygiene and frequently sanitizing surfaces will help slow the spread of the coronavirus, he said.

“We are fortunate as a community to have time to react to this concern and the hospital projections,” Holland said.

“We look forward to working with our local and county leadership, community stakeholders, school officials, chamber members and elected officials to seek solutions that will allow the Big Country to continue under Gov. Abbott’s executive order on maximum business capacity.” 

Coronavirus by the numbers

Abilene/Taylor County (updated Monday): Total positive PCR cases, 2,041; active PCR cases, 469; total antigen probable cases, 2,252; total antigen active cases, 747; total PCR recoveries, 1,522; total antigen recoveries, 1,486; Total deaths, 69; Current hospitalizations at Abilene facilities, 28.

Texas (updated Monday): Total cases, 867,075; New cases, 4,418; Active cases (estimated), 93,479; Hospitalized, 5,278; Fatalities, 17,514; Total tests, 8,560,787; Recovered (estimated), 758,192.

Big Country counties with reported confirmed cases (based on PCR tests as tracked by the state): Howard, 1,192; Scurry, 1,074; Erath, 1,017; Brown, 661; Jones, 585; Nolan, 405; Comanche, 354; Runnels, 296; Eastland, 251; Mitchell, 179; Stephens, 160; Callahan, 123; Knox, 113; Coke, 109; Fisher, 102; Coleman 88; Haskell, 80; Shackelford, 39; Stonewall, 19; Throckmorton, 17; Kent, 10.

Select West Texas counties: Lubbock, 17,478; Potter (Amarillo), 7,682; Randall (Canyon), 4,883; Midland, 4,979; Ector (Odessa), 3,689; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 3,486; Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,596; Hale (Plainview), 2,508; Moore (Dumas), 1,317.

Sources: City of Abilene, Texas Department of State Health Services (counts PCR cases only), San Angelo Standard-Times, Scurry County, Eastland County, Brown County

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Abilene ISD: Reported on Monday 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19: Three students at Cooper High School, two students at Abilene High School, one student at Craig Middle School, one student at Crockett Early Head Start, one staff member at Taylor Elementary, one staff member at Reagan Elementary and one staff member at ATEMS. There are 48 active AISD cases (26 students and 22 staff). Total number of cases since Aug. 17 is 158 (80 students and 78 staff).

Wylie ISD: Reported on Monday 17 active cases, which is three more than Friday: six at Wylie High School, nine at West Junior High, one at West Intermediate and one at West Elementary. 

Abilene Christian University: Reported on Monday 24 active cases, which is 21 fewer than Friday. There are 92 people in quarantine due to potential exposure, which is 61 fewer than last reported. Cumulative cases total 279, which is seven more than Friday. The number of administered tests is 4,314, which includes PCR and antigen tests at the ACU Medical Clinic and in partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Hardin-Simmons University: Reported on Sunday 37 HSU-related active cases, which is four more than reported Thursday.

McMurry University: Since Friday, has reported 12 new cases:  three students on Friday, six students and a staff member on Saturday and two students on Sunday. The university has 27 active cases and 36 recoveries. 

COVID-19 Sunday update: Taylor County COVID-19 spike continues with 77 new cases

More: COVID-19: Hendrick CEO says wave of new cases could overwhelm Abilene hospitals

Laura Gutschke is a general assignment reporter and food columnist and manages online content for the Reporter-News.  If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com

Read or Share this story: https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/2020/10/26/covid-19-coronavirus-monday-update-abilene-taylor-county-big-country-new-cases-schools-hospitals/6044391002/

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