Coronavirus in West Texas

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tri-county residents are wearing facemasks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

The Big Bend

Two Big Bend residents have died from COVID-19 complications. The first patient, a a 70-year-old man who had several pre-existing conditions, died on June 28. The second patient, an 87-year-old man, died on July 9. Both individuals were transferred from Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa where they died.

Big Bend National Park officials announced the park would close on Thursday, July 2  as a park resident has tested positive for the coronavirus. It is unclear how long BBNP will be closed. A draft of the park’s reopening plan outlined officials could close the park again if cases in Brewster County or Texas increase.

Coronavirus Testing Dates:

Monday, July 19 & 20 : 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Marfa: Marfa Visitor Center – 302 S Highland Ave

No appointment is required, must have photo identification.

What you need to know:


The Permian Basin

Beginning on June 30th, the City of Odessa is sending a mobile coronavirus testing unit to parks around the community. No appointment is needed for the June 30th testing date, other requirements TBA for future testing. The first 200 people to arrive at each location will get a test. Photo ID and facial covering are required.

Coronavirus Testing Dates:

  • Tuesday, July 14th, Salinas Park 9 am – 11 am
  • Thursday, July 16th, UTPB park 9 am – 11 am
  • Tuesday, July 21st, Lawndale Park 9 am – 11 am
  • Thursday, July 23rd, Floyd Gwinn Park 11 am – 1 pm
  • Tuesday, July 28th, Slaton Park 9 am – 11 am
  • Thursday, July 30th, Central Park 9 am – 11 am

What you need to know:

In Midland County, as of 10:56 am on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, there are 651 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 14 residents have died due to complications with COVID-19. The majority of the deaths related to the coronavirus that have occurred in Midland County were a result of an outbreak at the Midland Medical Lodge, a local nursing home, that began in early April.

Individuals can call 1-855-686-8773, or 68Nurse, to see if they qualify for a COVID-19 test. Midland Memorial Hospital runs the hotline and is operating a drive through the testing site at its West Campus: 

Midland Memorial Hospital West Campus
4214 Andrews Hwy,
Midland, TX 79703

In Ector County, as of 10:56 am on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, there are 558 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7 residents have died due to complications with COVID-19.

The community’s two hospitals have been operating testing sites across Odessa for the past few months. Medical Center Hospital is doing the majority of the testing at its urgent care centers. Most patients are being seen at the hospital’s Center For Primary Care located at:

MCH Center For Primary Care
1940 E 42nd St.
Odessa, TX 79762

To get screened for the coronavirus and to set up an appointment call MCH’s dedicated COVID-19 hotline. That number is 432-640-2747, operators are standing by Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Resources for West Texans

Marfa Public Radio is compiling resources for residents of the area. If you are offering services and would like to be included on this list, please email diana@marfapublicradio.org.

About Public Radio Staff

Marfa Public Radio
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