By Carlos Morales
A second Big Bend resident has died from the coronavirus after local health authorities transferred him to an Odessa hospital to receive treatment.
The patient, an 87-year-old man, was transferred Wednesday from Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. Officials with MCH say the man had pre-existing conditions.
The hospital, which is the largest in Odessa, has treated other Big Bend residents, largely from Alpine. However, for nearly a week the hospital closed its doors to patients outside of Ector County, citing the rising number of hospitalizations and the strain placed on local resources.
The hospital lifted the out-of-county moratorium on Tuesday — a day before the Big Bend patient was transferred.
The Big Bend region’s first coronavirus-related death was an Alpine resident in his 70s.