Since the pandemic reached West Texas earlier this spring, the total number of coronavirus cases has climbed into the thousands. Recently, the area’s more rural pockets have been plagued by infrequent testing and shrinking resources. Meanwhile, in the Permian Basin, Midland-Odessa hospitals are inundated with COVID-19 patients.
Below you’ll find maps and charts from the Texas Tribune, using data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, tracking how many Texans have tested positive for the coronavirus, the ratio of new cases in an area related to its population size, hospitalizations by region and the number of covid-related deaths.
You’ll also find resources directing you where and who to contact to get tested for the coronavirus.
How to Get Tested for COVID-19 in the Big Bend and the Permian Basin
West Texas residents should first call their general practitioner or local hospital if they believe they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or contracted COVID-19. In most cases, the healthcare provider will do a preliminary phone screening. The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe—with most cases being mild-to-moderate—and can include a dry cough, low to high fever, shortness of breath, and in fewer cases, a runny nose.
Local providers are urging people experiencing cold-like symptoms to be extra cautious and stay home, even if they would normally go to work under such conditions.
Here are the healthcare providers offering coronavirus testing in the Big Bend.
- Marfa Country Clinic – (432) 729-3000
- Marfa Community Health Clinic – (432) 729-1800
- Presidio County Medical Clinic – (432) 229-3030
- Preventive Care Health Services – (432) 837-4555
- Big Bend Regional Medical Center –(432) 837-3447
In the Midland-Odessa area, hospitals, private practices and clinics are offering coronavirus testing. Below are the three facilities providing the region with large scale testing:
- In Midland, Midland Memorial Hospital is conducting drive through testing. To be screened, make an appointment by calling the hospital’s 24-Hour hotline, 1-855-686-8773.
- Medical Center Hospital in Odessa is offering coronavirus tests at a few of its clinics. Call (432) 640-2747. Operators are standing by from 9 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
- Odessa Regional Medical Center is also offering testing, but an appointment is required. Call 432-582-8976 to see if you qualify for a test.
In recent weeks, Permian Basin hospitals have broken records for the number of coronavirus patients being hospitalized, which is straining facilities. In the past few weeks, officials have said about 1 in 3 people tested in Midland are diagnosed with the virus.
With the increase in hospitalizations, area medical facilities are now asking the state for additional resources like nurses, respiratory therapists and ventilators.
The Big Bend region saw its first coronavirus-related death back in June, and since then there have been at least a dozen more deaths in the tri-county area. Meanwhile, in the Permian Basin deaths have climbed into the hundreds and local health officials worry the toll could worsen following the winter season.