“It’s a terrible time to be in public health and in healthcare:” Public Health District officials warn Wichita Falls City Council about spike in COVID-19 cases

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District is expressing serious concerns about rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and dwindling ICU beds capacity.

Assistant Health Director Amy Fagan says right now there are only two adult ICU beds available in our trauma service area and limited pediatric ICU beds.

While at one time it seemed progress was being made against COVID-19, Fagan says we’re back in a dire situation.

“I think summer was great, we spent time with our family, we had gatherings there were weddings and we had lots of fun and we got back to life as somewhat normal in the summer and then all of a sudden the Delta variant hit the United States, it hit Texas and it hit Wichita Falls,” Fagan said.

The Delta variant has even reached those populations that weren’t widely hit before.

“We’ve also been following the ages of those that’s been hospitalized so for the month of august 62% of those individuals that were hospitalized were under the age of 60,” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health Director Lou Kreidler said.

With more than 100 hospitalized in Wichita County as of Tuesday morning, Fagan fears the hospital situation will only get worse.

“So one of the things we look at is the available beds in our trauma service area and right now there are two available ICU beds for adults and zero available ICU beds for pediatric patients additionally hospitals down in the metroplex who would typically take those patients are also having their own limitations,” Fagan said.

Kreidler also addressed city council with a message for those who have suggested taking the drug ivermectin.

“People are going to farm and ranch stores and buying ivermectin over the counter which is a horse medication it’s for livestock and so our bodies aren’t livestock it wasn’t meant for that if someone has COVID or thinks they want to take ivermectin they really should see their primary care physician and have that conversation,” Kreidler said.

Fagan and Kreidler both want to remind the community to do their part and get vaccinated to help slow the spread.

“People have heard it a million times it’s get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay home when you’re sick.” Fagan said.

They will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and they ask for some extra help from the community.

Fagan also shared with city council that the Health District is reaching its own capacity to actively manage cases.

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