FIRST ON CBS7: Two new coronavirus cases confirmed in Midland

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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Midland Memorial Hospital announced their first COVID-19 patient died Tuesday morning as two more people in Midland tested positive for the virus.

Midland officials said the 60-year-old patient developed pneumonia this week and couldn’t be saved after his condition deteriorated Monday night.

“It’s pretty sobering to see a person die from a respiratory infection like this who was an otherwise healthy human being that was doing well up until he got a cold,” MMH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wilson said.

While friends of that patient mourn their loss.

“This man was an amazing pilot and he taught my son to be a better man and a better pilot,” Odessa Mayor David Turner said of the patient. “And his family lost him last night.”

Medical leaders explain more people are fighting for their lives in Midland.

Wilson said they’re treating another 60-year-old diagnosed with the virus in the hospital while a minor recovers at home in quarantine.

Meanwhile, the hospital is waiting for results on 149 people who might have the virus, but that wait won’t be as short as they hoped.

“We had hoped to be getting back from 24-48 hours we’re looking at our fifth or sixth day now without test results back,” Wilson said. “So, I’ll say again I hope tomorrow.”

The hospital is using a new vendor to process COVID tests, but Wilson said that center is being overwhelmed by other cities trying to get their citizens tested too.

“So, I’m not really optimistic that they’re going to do a whole lot better,” Wilson said. “I hope I’m wrong and I hope they’re going to do a lot better. We’ll see in the next day or two to see if we get tests back from them more quickly, but it’s been a struggle so far.”

Of those 149 people, 11 are being treated at the hospital’s COVID ward while the less serious cases stay quarantined at home.

Last week we learned the first patient had traveled to several states before he was diagnosed but what parts of Midland he visited.

The Midland Health Department said two of the new patients had picked up COVID-19 during travel but say they plan to make a report to track where they set foot in Midland after they returned with the virus.

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