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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Takeaways from today’s press conference with the Brazos County Health District

Dr.+Seth+Sullivan%2C+Brazos+County+Alternate+Health+Authority%2C+speaks+at+a+press+conference+on+Monday%2C+March+30+at+the+Brazos+County+Health+Department.
Photo by Courtesy of Laura McKenzie/The Eagle

Dr. Seth Sullivan, Brazos County Alternate Health Authority, speaks at a press conference on Monday, March 30 at the Brazos County Health Department.

Local medical professionals joined Dr. Seth Sullivan from the Brazos County Health District at the March 30 press conference, reassuring the community that local hospitals are ready for a peak of COVID-19 patients. Here’s what we learned.
1. Proactive leadership in the county is proving effective

Dr. Kia Parsi, the chief medical officer at CHI St. Joseph Health in Bryan, said during the press conference that measures put into place at the local level have proven greatly effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Parsi and several other medical professionals present said the Brazos County shelter-in-place order has proven effective and has helped improve the situations in local hospitals. Sullivan said the shelter-in-place order and other public health interventions are what will slow the spread of the virus.
The shelter-in-place order is currently set to conclude on April 7. The county has not stated whether or not this order will be extended.
2. Currently, 618 people in Brazos County have been tested for COVID-19

According to Sullivan, there have been 618 people in Brazos County that have been tested for COVID-19. All patients that have needed tests have been able to receive a test.

With 46 total positive cases confirmed out of the 618 total tests, this means that about 13 percent of the patients tested for COVID-19 in Brazos County have tested positive.

In Brazos County, there are currently five people hospitalized with COVID-19 and two patients have died from the virus.
3. Social distancing is important

Several medical professionals present at the press conference said the most effective thing that someone can do at this time is practice social distancing.

According to the CDC, social distancing is defined as remaining out of congregate settings as much as possible, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining a distance of about six feet from others when possible
4. A decrease in regular volume of local hospitals has helped with the increase in volume of potential COVID-19 patients

Foresight at local hospitals in decreasing non-essential surgeries has kept the hospitals from reaching capacity in handling COVID-19 cases, according to Sullivan.
Sullivan said capacity at local hospitals is closely watched by local officials, and preparations are being made should alternative measures be necessary to accommodate an increase in patients.

Local officials from Baylor Scott and White and CHI St. Joseph’s said they currently have no shortages of protective equipment or ventilators in their facilities, but they are preparing for the peak of cases in the community.
Local medical professionals present at the press conference said individuals experiencing symptoms like fever and shortness of breath should contact a physician to see what the next steps for that individual may be.

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