AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle has sparked a reaction from local physicians, nurses, and medical staff.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise at both BSA and Northwest Texas Hospitals.
Also, on the rise, frustration levels from healthcare workers.
Over 1,000 nurses, physicians and healthcare workers have signed a petition from a very respected local doctor, Daniel Hendrick, regarding the way Mayor Nelson as well as city council members are handling the pandemic.
Public Health Authority Dr. Scott Milton read some of the petition that states,
"Dear Mayor Nelson and Amarillo City Council members, COVID-19 has created a public health disaster in our area. The hospitals are overrun such that the quality of care for COVID and non-COVID conditions have been negatively impacted. The general public continues to struggle with misguided principles and misinformation."
Dr. Hendrick’s letter continued citing Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-29 which he believes has not been enforced in our area.
Hendrick states Mayor Nelson should mandate and enforce that all customers and all employees must be wearing masks and if they don’t a penalty should be implemented. They letter continued:
"As a physician, I feel powerless to slow this pandemic. Education has failed to control the crisis. You as local leaders have the ability to make a difference. Enforcing the mask order will help. If we do so soon we can reduce transmission and hopefully the governor would not be forced to reduce business activity further," Milton said.
BSA Chief Medical Officer Doctor Michael Lamanteer said he agrees with this petition as well.
"I would say I completely agree with the comments that have been made this far regarding the dire situation that we are in currently. Dr. Hendricks letter that Dr. Milton read to you I think was well spoken. Dr. Hendricks is a leader in our medical community and one of our medical executive committee members on our medical staff," Lamanteer said.
Mayor Nelson spoke this morning as well, asking the community, yet again, to wear their masks.
Doctor Hendrick plans on delivering the petition to the Mayor and City Council at a later date.
He also said one major concern is smaller rural hospitals that lack specialists having patients that need to be transported to Amarillo but are not able to because there are no available beds.