Midland, TX – The day many Permian Basin residents have dreaded since the announcement of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States came this past Thursday. The city of Midland confirmed that Midland Memorial Hospital has received its first confirmed case of COVID-19 and the patient has passed.
Hospital officials confirmed they had an inpatient that tested positive for the coronavirus. The unnamed patient was a male in his sixties and was in isolation until his death. He was at the hospital since March 14, and had no significant underlying medical conditions. The Midland Health Department is currently investigating two new confirmed cases.
In a separate incident, two persons tested positive of coronavirus in Lubbock last week. A Crane County resident has also tested positive for COVID-19. The male patient from Crane is a University of Texas Permian Basin employee that has been working at the CEED building.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been 410 COVID-19 cases statewide, with nine fatalities. The highest risk of sever illness are those people who are over 60 years of age or those individuals who have an underlying health condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer. People in those groups have a higher risk of developing severe disease if they do get COVID-19, and the safest thing for them during an outbreak will be to stay home as much as possible and minimize close contact with other people.
Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, has declared a public health disaster in Texas, because COVID-19 “has created an immediate threat, poses a high risk of death to a large number of people, and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s method of transmission and evidence that there is community spread in Texas.”