COVID-19 Update

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

Dr. Matt Young, owner of Texarkana Emergency Center, and practicing emergency medicine physician of more than 20 years, serves as the Health Authority for Bowie County. He works closely with local hospitals and city and county leaders to make recommendations and share information about Texarkana’s COVID-19 status. Texarkana Monthly asked Dr. Young a few questions to help provide updated information regarding current conditions in the community. TEXARKANA MEDICAL FACILITIES Are Texarkana hospitals at capacity? Are sick Texarkana residents still being admitted locally?

MISINFORMATION From the beginning of this pandemic until now, there have been constant changes and new findings. Is there any topic of significance that you continue to notice causing confusion for the people of Texarkana? If so, please take this opportunity to clear up those areas with the most current understanding of information. “It is a true disease process that we are seeing locally, and it is affecting people in a significant way. It does cause death, and it does cause illness. We just need to make sure people are aware that it is a problem in our community. Just because somebody may feel well, that does not mean that they couldn’t be passing COVID-19 around. There are carriers who do not have symptoms. So, that’s why it’s important for us to follow the guidelines that are set out by the CDC and also both the Arkansas and the Texas Governors, as far as wearing a mask.”

“They are both very full, but they are not at capacity at the current time. It’s a dynamic situation, but for now they are able to handle both COVID and non-COVID related illnesses. There are beds available currently, but that changes hourly and daily. We, at the Emergency Operations Center, keep in constant contact with our hospitals to make sure that we can handle the cases in the Four States area.” Are there enough ventilators locally? Will that be a problem? “Currently it’s not a problem. They have had large usage of the ventilators, but there are extras that we could potentially bring in to use if needed. We can borrow from sister facilities as well.” “If the hospitals do get full, after the patient is seen and evaluated at one of the local emergency departments and the request for admission is needed, then the hospitals will work together to get that patient a bed at the nearest and most appropriate facility. That’s only if they are full. They are doing everything they can to make sure that they have beds for all our neighbors and friends in the four states area.” If the local hospitals get full, what will happen to newTexarkana cases needing admittance?

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