A Second Big Bend Resident Has Died From COVID-19 While Receiving Treatment in The Permian Basin

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.

Physicians at Big Bend Regional Medical Center will request a transfer if they believe a patient needs higher-level care.

The Big Bend region’s first coronavirus-related death was an Alpine resident in his 70s.

About Carlos Morales

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director, Border and Immigration Reporter, and Morning Edition Host.
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