Midland Memorial preparing to increase staff as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:50 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The battle against COVID-19 is far from over in West Texas.

As the new Delta variant surges across the country, Midland Memorial Hospital President and CEO Russell Meyer says it’s causing a threat to the hospitalization census.

“Just as recently as the Fourth of July, we had four COVID patients in the hospital. Today we have 24; that’s a 500% increase in 17 days,” said Meyer.

Hospital officials believe that the Delta variant is behind the surge as less than 40% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

Now, to treat patients with the new strain of the virus, MMH will have to add additional staff to run its 9th-floor care unit.

That move will be costly.

“To open a new unit, I think I quoted this earlier, but if I didn’t, we’ve estimated about $56,000 additional cost every week we have to staff a 12-bed unit with agency staff,” said Meyer.

Meyers says the hospital is also considering reducing its elected admissions to clear more room and change its visitations policy.

Officials are urging the public to stop the spread of the virus by wearing a mask, staying socially distant and getting vaccinated.

Some may be reluctant, including Midland Mayor Patrick Payton himself.

“If I wasn’t the mayor I probably wouldn’t of gotten vaccinated at this point,” said Payton.

That’s why he’s now on the way to being fully vaccinated - to help prevent another outbreak.

Vaccination rates across Texas.
Vaccination rates across Texas.(Midland Memorial Hospital)

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