TGC Local Health Authority expects COVID-19 numbers to increase when school starts

News Connection

SAN ANGELO, Texas — After two weeks with some of the highest numbers per capita for Coronavirus for any city in the country, there is evidence that the numbers are starting to drop in San Angelo.

“We’re starting to see a little bit of a decrease in our actual case loads,” said Dr. James Vretis, the Local Health Authority for Tom Green County.

According to Dr. Vretis, although there have been less positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the area, we’re nowhere near seeing the end of the virus.

“I suspect what will happen is we’ll get over this hump and be good for two weeks and then school will start. As soon as school starts and ASU starts, we’ll have one or two weeks of a honeymoon phase until we start to see another rise,” explained Dr. Vretis.

With more than 40 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized, he said the concern isn’t hospital capacity but rather hospital staff.

“We’re licensed for 400 beds but we don’t have the nursing staff for those beds. Both hospitals have put in requests for aid from nurses here and contract workers, traveling nurses so we can take care of the patients,” added Dr. Vretis.

Dr. Vretis said that of the 20 COVID-19 related deaths, most have been seniors with underlying health conditions kept under control.

“A lot of those people with underlying diseases are not real bad. These are people that as a rule have well-controlled diabetes or hypertension, they’re on medicine. Even though they have a disease, they’re not out of whack,” continued Dr. Vretis.

Now, the largest group of people who have the virus are in the 20-29 age group.

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Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo