An internal medicine physician at Texas County Memorial Hospital raised alarm Friday afternoon about an increase of COVID-19 cases in the area.

Jonathan Beers, DO, issued this statement to the community:

As many of you already know, Texas County has had a sharp rise in confirmed COVID cases. We have also seen a rise in the hospitalizations for COVID related illness. This is something that the community must take very seriously because it impacts all of us.

Our county has been relatively spared up until recently with the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been protected largely due to our low population density and distance from large cities.

Our initial cases were seen when people were travelling outside our county and being exposed. Now, we are spreading the disease within our community. Larger facilities outside of our immediate area are commonly at or exceeding capacity and have been on diversion, making it difficult to transfer our sickest patients.

Because of our regions stressed medical resources, this makes it even more important to practice infection control such as avoiding large groups (especially indoors), wearing a mask unless under the age of 2, maintaining good hand hygiene, getting a flu vaccination and staying up to date on preventative health care. This outbreak is not likely going to be over soon, so staying up to date on preventative health measures is essential.

TCMH has taken precautions to keep ill patients and well patients separated and there have been improvements made to screening and sanitation procedures.

We have seen an increase in non-COVID deaths due to people avoiding or delaying screenings, surgeries and cancer or other medical treatments.

Our goal as we approach flu season is to have a population that is as healthy as possible in order to endure the challenges that are ahead. Our community has always come together during difficult times, so let’s continue to show our compassion for one another by doing everything in OUR power to stop the spread of disease.

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