Midland Health Department: 2nd coronavirus case was community spread

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 2:58 PM CDT
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A new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Midland bringing the county total to four.

City and county leaders announced Wednesday one of those patients caught the virus inside Midland County.

That patient who is being treated inside MMH is a 60-year old who was diagnosed yesterday.

Investigations found he had to have caught it in Midland because he hasn’t been out of town recently.

“We do have our first case of community acquired COVID,” Midland Health Department Health and Senior Services Manager Whitney Craig said. “Which means that technically the source is unknown.”

It’s a troubling development for Midland health officials trying to fend off the coronavirus in Midland County.

“We are working blind and we are exposed and if we don’t stay removed from the sources of that infection,” Midland Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wilson said. “We can be spreading it much more widely.”

By Wednesday, a woman in her twenties was diagnosed as the fourth coronavirus patient.

Health officials don’t know where she caught the virus and now wonder how many other people may be walking the streets unaware that they have it too.

“But if you have person that you recognize is positive, there’s somewhere between five and ten others that are infected that you haven’t seen,” Wilson said. “That’s been in the literature, you’ve heard about this stuff. So just think of the magnitude when we’re talking about four or five cases right now. That suggests already we’re up to 50 potentially.”

That’s on top of the 18 in the hospital, four of whom are in critical condition.

There are also roughly 150 patients who are waiting for virus test results to come back and, luckily, some should see results in the next day from a new much faster testing vendor.

“So, were going to keep that at as something we use for inpatients only so we’re getting this information back as quickly as we can for the most sick individuals,” Wilson said. “If we find that we have an allocation that allows us to do so well liberalize that’s and use it in the community more widely.”

Wilson said about 85% of people won’t be in any danger if they catch COVID-19, but for others it can be devastating.

“A percent of them, 15% or so, will get sick and sick enough that they may end up in the hospital and a small percentage of those patients will succumb to the disease,” he said.

It’s that small percentage all of us need to protect together by staying apart.

“Don’t go do things hair because you think you can, and nobody can tell you what to do,” Midland Mayor Patrick Payton said. “It’s time for us to sacrifice for one another aggressively as we get past this.”

Doctors also mentioned some good news.

They said these warm temperatures make it harder for the virus to survive and will hopefully slow down this spread.

Midland's first and third cases


Officials are still working to find out how the


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