Staff report | Abilene Reporter-News
Hendrick Health said late Friday afternoon that it was raising its COVID-19 Community Safety Dial to “Level 4: Severe,” in response to an increase in new coronavirus hospitalizations in the last seven days.
The new designation will affect visitation and masking policies for all Hendrick Health inpatient and outpatient facilities, beginning Monday.
Masks will be required inside Hendrick facilities regardless of vaccination status, and all patients and visitors will be screened at check-in stations. Also, patient visitors will be limited.
In a recorded video, Hendrick Health chief medical officer Dr. Rob Wiley encouraged the public to get tested and vaccinated, and expressing hope that the surge related to the current variant will be brief.
“This variant continues to be very contagious, with low severity of serious illness,” Wiley said. “It has not affected our hospitalizations tremendously, and our ICU numbers continue to be low.”
“Our hope is that this will be a short-lived period, and we will get to return back to our new normal.”
The Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District on Friday reported COVID-19 data including 72 new cases and one death, bringing the county’s total pandemic fatalities to 647.
It is the first death reported in the county since June 28.
Of the 72 new cases, 20 were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction testing. Active cases Friday totaled 1,572 (401 PCR tests and 1,171 antigen tests), compared to 1,548 Thursday and 1,466 the week previous.
The percentage of COVID-19 inpatients in the 16-county Abilene trauma service area was 3.49% Thursday, compared to 3.54% Wednesday and 3.39% Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 database.
The Abilene trauma service area Thursday had 31 COVID-19 inpatients, one fewer than reported Wednesday. In the previous 24 hours, there were 11 COVID-19 admissions in the area, according to the state database.
Coronavirus by the numbers
Abilene/Taylor County (Friday data): New cases, 72; PCR cases, 13,805; active PCR cases, 401; total antigen probable cases, 24,009; total active antigen cases, 1,171; total PCR recoveries, 13,748; total antigen recoveries, 22,484; Total deaths, 647.
Texas (updated Friday): Total cases, 6,054,379; New cases, 9,345; Hospitalized, 3,624; Fatalities, 87,695; New fatalities, 59; Total tests, 68,926,268.
Big Country estimated new daily confirmed cases (Friday, as tracked by the state): Brown, 4; Callahan, 1; Coke, 0; Coleman, 9; Comanche, 0; Eastland, 2; Erath, 8; Fisher, 5; Haskell, 3; Howard, 1; Jones, 4; Kent, 0; Knox, 0; Mitchell, 5; Nolan, 9; Runnels, 3; Scurry, 9; Shackelford, 0; Stephens, 0; Stonewall, 0; and Throckmorton, 0.
Sources: City of Abilene, Texas Department of State Health Services (counts PCR cases only) San Angelo Standard-Times
SELECT PRISONS (Wednesday update)
Daniel (Snyder): Staff cases – active, 0; Inmate cases – active, 0, medical isolation, 0.
Havins (Brownwood): Staff cases – active, 1; Inmate cases – active, 0, medical isolation, 0.
Middleton (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 10; Inmate cases – active, 4, medical isolation, 4.
Robertson (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 8; Inmate cases – active, 0, medical isolation, 0.
Sayle (Breckenridge): Staff cases – active, 2; Inmate cases – active, 6, medical isolation, 6.
Wallace (Colorado City): Staff cases – active, 5; Inmate cases – active, 0, medical isolation, 0.
Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice COVID-19 website.
More:COVID-19: Taylor County adds 79 cases Thursday