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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Texas Panhandle COVID-19 Update; Gov. Abbott Talks Hospital Capacity

As of Friday, with some variance as to when cases were reported to city and state health departments, there are 73 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Texas panhandle, with a handful of counties seeing an increase over the past few days -- that as Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update about the state’s hospital capacity.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS), there are currently 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of Randall and Potter Counties in Amarillo, which according to the City of Amarillo Friday, each reported 24 confirmed cases of the virus.

Based on the data from the DSHS, which is current as of 8 p.m. the prior day, and the information released by the City of Amarillo on Friday, the case tally by county is: Potter (24), Randall (24), Castro (9), Moore (6), Oldham (2), Donley (5), Deaf Smith (3), Gray (1) and Swisher (1).

Abbott held a press conference on Friday to provide updates about the ways Texas has increased its hospital capacity, including postponement of surgeries and procedures that are not immediately necessary and instituting a double occupancy waiver.

The state’s hospital bed capacity has also increased by over 140 percent since mid-March, according to a press release from Abbott’s office.

"Over the past several weeks we have taken action to expand bed availability to make sure that every Texan who needs a hospital bed will have access to one,” Abbott said.

He also urged Texans to stay at home unless engaged in essential services or activities.

“Staying home saves lives and helps our healthcare workers during these challenging times. I thank all the doctors, nurses, medical workers as they fight on the front lines against COVID-19,” he said.

Click here for Abbott’s Power Point presentation about the state’s hospital bed capacity.