The Amarillo Department of Public Health (APHD) released weekly totals for influenza and COVID-19, with both showing decreases over the past week. By the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) standards, Randall and Potter County’s community levels of COVID-19 were low, or green this week as of Thursday.
The health department’s weekly flu report is created by all the local providers who voluntarily report influenza to APHD in Potter and Randall Counties. Previous weekly flu reports can be found on the health department’s website. Data is categorized by week, from Oct. 16 through Jan. 9. The season’s highest total thus far was during the week of Dec. 12, when there were a total of 2,388 flu and flu-like cases of illness reported.
For the week of Jan. 9, there were 88 cases of influenza A, six cases of influenza B and 418 cases of flu-like illness, according to the flu report card. No cases were classified as “undifferentiated,” and the weekly total was 512.
In the department’s weekly COVID-19 update, 1,577 cases were considered active, with one new death and an increase of 414 new COVID-19 cases.
According to the report card, the 310 new COVID-19 cases amount to a seven-day, new-case average of 59, with a seven-day positivity rate of 17%.
That brings the total number of cases in Potter and Randall counties to 87,840 and the total number of deaths to 1,319 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, according to the report card. As posted on the APHD’s site, a total 83,785 recoveries have been reported for the area.
Potter County’s total cases since the start of the pandemic rose to 41,923, with 715 active, 40,430 recoveries and 778 deaths related to the virus.
Randall County’s total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic rose to 44,758, with 862 active, 43,355 recoveries and 541 deaths related to the virus.
The report card contains the latest data from BSA Health System, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, and Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center.
The Amarillo Public Health COVID-19 Hospitalization report, also being released weekly, noted 21 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 67% of whom were unvaccinated. Of those, three patients were in the ICU, two who were unvaccinated, and none on ventilators.
For additional tips for staying safe this winter and the most up to date COVID-19 information, visit www.AmarilloAlerts.com. Weekly flu reports can be found at www.amarillopublichealth.org .
According to the Amarillo Public Health Department, boosters maximize protection against COVID and its contagious variants, such as the Omicron variant and the newest variant XBB1.5, which was recently named as “the most transmissible” by the World Health Organization. Everyone ages 6 months and older is best protected when they are up-to-date on their vaccines, which means they have received all recommended doses for people their age. Boosters also help people have fewer symptoms than they would have without it and keep people out of the hospital, which saves a spot for someone else who needs urgent care for heart attacks, accidents, injuries and other emergencies. The mobile vaccine clinics will have first and second doses and the booster available. The COVID vaccines and boosters are currently free but will not be in the near future – so Amarillo Public Health encourages residents to take advantage of this opportunity now.
Upcoming mobile vaccine clinics include at 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Our Lady of Guadalupe; 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade at Bones Hooks Park; and 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Guyon Saunders Resource Center. Nurses will be available at the mobile clinics to answer health-related questions. Free COVID vaccinations are also available at the Amarillo Public Health Department. Learn more, including how to schedule a free ride to the Amarillo Public Health Department, at www.AmarilloAlerts.com/findavaccine.
For the complete report of all Amarillo Public Health COVID-19 data, visit amarillo.gov/coviddashboard .
Editor’s note: Some of the numbers surrounding COVID-19 cases listed in this story are different on the weekly report card, vs. the APHD website. According to the public health department, readers can check the website for the latest updates and totals.