As COVID-19 cases rise in the county, health officials warn of potential surge

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Director of Public Health Lou Kreidler said by looking at the current trend, the county could have over 1,300 cases per week by the end of the year.

Kreidler also said that puts even more strain on area hospitals that are already in a state of emergency.

“COVID-19 is worse, much worse possibly than swine flu, H1N1, anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. Is that correct? It is absolutely worse than anything we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Kreidler said.

According to Kreidler, Wichita County is averaging a little over 800 cases per week.

With only 302 cases reported from the Thanksgiving weekend, some may see that as a bright spot.
But with a 42% positivity rate and nine deaths reported from that time, Kreidler said the worst may be yet to come.

“I had one case manager yesterday who received 13 cases, 10 of those involved in exposure at Thanksgiving. What I expect to see by the end of this week is a large uptick in cases from our Thanksgiving exposure,” Kreidler said.

“We’re already in this huge peak for us and then you overlay thanksgiving and it’s not just the holidays, it’s all the days in between. It’s kind of like a spike within a spike and that’s what’s most concerning is the closeness of the holidays together,” Assistant Director of Public Health Amy Fagan said.

Fagan’s projections show the county’s best-case scenario would be over 900 cases per week by the end of the year.

But the worst-case scenario would be over 1,300 cases per week. With Fagan’s projections also showing 120 hospitalizations by the end of the year, there is also a major concern for area hospitals.

“The challenge becomes… Not only are the beds available, the resources available for those people in the beds but the people who take care of people. We have to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure those healthcare workers can staff those beds,” Fagan said.

“This is real. The number of hospitalizations each day represents individuals who are someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle. For them, this is real,” Kreidler said.

As COVID-19 surges in Wichita County, health officials warn the public of the dangers that have yet to come.

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