New coalition uses education to fight COVID-19

Odessa Doctors, nurses and medical professionals around Midland and across West Texas are coming together to form a new coalition to ask you do one thing during this pandemic -- stay home.

The coalition is called Protect our Frontline - West Texas.

Dr. Summer Merritt says the group started organically and is now more than 200 medical professionals strong.

The local healthcare providers are rallying to push simple medical facts and the same consistent message: washing your hands is not enough to slow the spread of the coronavirus, you need to stay home and limit social interaction before the outbreak is uncontrollable.

"At some point it's going to overwhelm our hospitals," Dr. Merritt said. "Our hospitals only have so many beds, so many ventilators, so many doctors and so many nurses. If we don't do what we need to do now, we're going to overwhelm our medical system and it's going to crumble just like it has in really big cities like Seattle and New York."

Dr. Merritt says the only way to slow the spread is to act aggressively, meaning stay home and practice social distancing with everyone other than your immediate family.