COVID-19 numbers jump higher

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, December 17, 2020

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By Dawn Burleigh

As vaccines roll into Southeast Texas this week, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Orange County jumped by 352 compared to last week with the number of currently active cases at 1762. Two more persons have died with COVID-19 bringing the total to 47 since March 2020. The grand total of cases in the area to 4737.

Three less persons are hospitalized from COVID bring the current number to 17. There are also two less on a ventilator compared to last week.

The total number of persons recovered from the virus increased by 107 bringing it to 2928.

The Medical Center of South East Texas received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday and immediately began administering the vaccine to its frontline healthcare workers. The first vaccine was given Christy Wright, RN.  She works as a Med Surg and COVID Medical floor nurse.  Both her mother and father contracted COVID-10 this past summer.  Christy’s father lost his battle with COVID-19, on August 1, 2020.

Christy said she feels a responsibility to get the vaccine, “I want to do all I can to help not spread this deadly virus”.

She is excited to the first to receive the vaccine.   CNO Dana Steffer, administered the first vaccination.

The Medical Center has received the expected 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first allotment.

“We are following every measure outline by the CDC, FDA and ACIP,” CMO, Dr. Gary Mennie said. “And we will continue to support all efforts that lead to the end of this pandemic, and maintain quality, compassionate care in all that we do.”

During months of preparations, the team has been facilitating ultra-cold storage, added security measures and a dedicated clinic for administering the vaccine.   Additionally, Steward Healthcare has developed an application to pre-screen employees, schedule employees for COVID vaccinations, and set reminders for the administration of the second dose of the vaccine. This will allow us to administer vaccines to our health care personnel, while simultaneously maintaining best practices for physical distancing.

The Medical Center is honored to be included in the “week one” distribution and will continue to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination process for healthcare workers as instructed by the CDC and FDA.