Hunt Regional Healthcare update

Hunt Regional Healthcare provided an update Tuesday on the patient status at local hospitals.

Local hospital officials said that despite some areas of North Texas are seeing a decline in COVID-19 patients, the same is not the case in Hunt County, which recorded two more deaths attributed to the virus overnight.

Two vaccination events are scheduled in Hunt County this week.

Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter provided an update today on the patient status at local hospitals.

“The percentage of total COVID+ patients is beginning to trend downward in our 19 county region, but has taken a slight tick upward in Hunt County,” Carter said. “As of today Hunt Regional Medical Center has a total patient census of 177 with 74 of these patients COVID+. Today our ICU has 25 total patients with 20 COVID+ and eight on ventilators. The Greenville ER currently has 13 patients waiting for available inpatient beds.  None of the COVID patients are vaccinated.”

In its latest report, the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated Hunt County had recorded 237 deaths attributed to COVID-19 as of Monday, six more than on Friday and 34 more than on Friday, Sept. 3. The county has recorded 56 COVID-19 deaths since the most recent surge was reported Aug. 8.

The statistics were compiled by the state agency Monday afternoon.

There was some reason for optimism, as the most recent update was showing some slowing in the numbers of additional cases.

Hunt County had reported 7,773 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday, eight more than Friday, with 2,052 probable cases, unchanged from Sunday.

There were 580 active cases in the county as of Monday, 39 fewer than on Sunday.

There had been 9,245 estimated recoveries from COVID-19 in Hunt County Monday, an increase of 47 patients from the day before.

Carter said the discussion continues as to implementing COVID-19 booster shots.

“On Friday, Sept. 17, a committee of outside experts, who advise the Food and Drug Administration, rejected COVID19 boosters for everyone in a 16-2 vote,” Carter said. “Then the committee voted 18-0 to endorse the extra dose for those most at risk from the virus – namely those over age 65 and/or immunocompromised.  The FDA itself should make a decision in the next few days. It is reported the FDA usually follows this committee’s recommendations.”

Carter said the offering of boosters is also subject to approval by the CDC.

“The CDC has said it is considering boosters for older people, nursing home residents, and front-line healthcare workers, rather than all adults,” he said. “It has been determined that the unvaccinated are driving transmissions and the goal is to get two doses to all who are not vaccinated as the best way to control the pandemic.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Tuesday that 41.13% of Hunt County residents age 12 or older were currently fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

• Carevide is holding a clinic for anyone 12 years and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. They will be administering the Pfizer vaccine. Those who received their first vaccine at an earlier clinic will be able to receive their second vaccine. Those attending will need to bring their vaccine card if it will be their second dose.

Anyone who wants to receive their first vaccine may also come to the clinic, which will be open to the public, including Greenville ISD students, teachers and families. Carevide will work with those receiving their first vaccine to be sure they will receive their second vaccine in the recommended timeframe.

The clinic will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday in the Greenville High School Auditorium.

• Carevide is also hosting an immunization clinic between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday at Community Seeds, 602 College Street in Lone Oak.

• A list of locations with COVID-19 vaccines available is online at https://www.vaccines.gov/search/

“Requests for COVID testing are again up somewhat with 324 COVID tests performed on Monday at our Greenville and Quinlan facilities with an 18% positive test rate,” Carter said. “The positivity rate is down slightly.”

Carter noted that monoclonal antibody infusions and injections for at risk patients are still available.

“A physician's order is required for these medications,” he said. “If you have tested positive for COVID please speak with your physician about a referral for monoclonal antibodies.”

• A list of all of the available regional infusion centers and therapeutics facilities is available online at https://tinyurl.com/4cvpm6yd

“Staffing is going fairly well for most patient care areas, but it is still too soon for us to consider sending staff back to Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center in Commerce,” Carter said. “We monitor the situation constantly and will begin to make plans to reopen this location as soon as possible.Thank you for your continued patience.”

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