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Permian Basin hospital preparing for coronavirus 'worst case scenario'

"We are monitoring the coronavirus and we are staying ahead of the game."

ODESSA, Texas — Medical Center Hospital is preparing for worst case scenario when it comes to the coronavirus.

NewsWest 9 talked to the hospital's emergency management coordinator, who believes the virus will not impact people in the Basin.

Even so, they are trying to stay ahead of the problem, just in case it does.

“We are monitoring the coronavirus and we are staying ahead of the game," said Amanda Everett, MCH Emergency Management Coordinator. "We’re preparing for a meeting with all of the leads in the county to make sure that we’re on the same page with communication.” 

But identifying the virus can be tricky.

“The virus looks a lot like the actual flu that’s going around," Everett said. "There's coughing, sneezing, runny noses, those types of things.”

According to the CDC's website, “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”

Even if the virus does spread to West Texas, treatment here would be much different than in China.

“We have the ability to isolate those patients treat them accordingly," Everett said. "The coronavirus is not as deadly as everyone is thinking that it is."

Everett says the reason that it is more deadly in China is because their population density of people is way higher than it is here.

"We also have a dry climate," Everett said. 

The material and equipment the hospital does get from overseas, like face masks, will not spread the virus.

“Those kind of concerns are not valid because we have regulations and we don’t allow things to come in to the hospital that are iffy,” Everett said. 

While the worry about coronavirus is low for now, the hospital is going to continue to prepare for a worst case scenario.

On Monday, the hospital along with ECISD, county and city officials will get together and go over a coronavirus plan.  

NewsWest 9 will be at that round table and will update you with any additional information.

If you have any additional questions on the virus click here.


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