Judge Little Is Recovering From COVID-19
ELLIS – Ellis County will be setting up free COVID-19 testing kiosks on September 17 according to Ellis County Judge Todd Little. Although specifics haven’t been provided as to how residents will access the kiosks.
“The virus is taking its toll on our community,” Little said. “We have made vaccines readily available and free.”
On August 27, Dr. Leigh Nordstrom, Ellis County’s Local Health Authority, reminded residents to continue with COVID precautions. She stated, ““COVID-19 is at a sharp incline in our community,” and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated. At the time we asked Judge Little if he’d like to comment on Dr. Nordstrom’s statement but were informed he was ‘out of office.’
In fact, the Judge is himself still recovering from COVID after a three week battle with the virus. Today, he said he would like to highlight how the success of new treatments has benefitted many of his colleagues and can also benefit the citizens of Ellis County.
He received the monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron) for his illness. He said, “It made a huge difference in our symptoms and recovery. It reduces hospitalizations by 75-80% of people who receive infusion.”
Hospitals In Ellis County Are Experiencing COVID-19 Spike
And hospitalization is definitely not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in for the treatment of COVID-19.
In Ellis County Hospitals as of September 14, there were 38 ICU beds occupied, 28 of those beds with COVID-19 patients. There are 137 patients hospitalized with COVID in Ellis County, accounting for roughly 70% of the patients.
Little said the County is doing what they can to ensure patients are taken care of. “We have reduced elective procedures in order to give priority to COVID patients,” Little explained. “This frees up Medical-Surgical (MedSurg) beds to be used as ICU beds. When there is an overcapacity in ICU beds, the hospitals can use MedSurg beds to treat COVID patients.”
Ellis County COVID-19 Data
While some residents are asking about the transparency of the COVID numbers at the Ellis County website, Little maintains the county is being as transparent as possible regarding the COVID data.
“Remember we now get our stats from DSHS the same way our citizens do,” Little explained. “DSHS no longer provides us with daily updates to the COVID statistics in our county; they stopped providing us daily breakdowns in late June.”
At one time Texas Health Trace was supplying numbers, but the county discontinued reporting from THT in June. It is unclear why Ellis County was using THT and is now using DSHS. Over the last week, Ellis County, Texas has averaged 245 new confirmed cases per day.
As for DSHS, Little said they are no longer providing the breakdown of counties and cities and how many cases in each because, “They were overwhelmed at DSHS.”
Vaccines Continue To Be Available To Everyone 12 & Up
Ellis County does have a plan to increase the vaccine uptake though, no details as of yet. Little said they have already been able to vaccinate about 80,000 people through the Vaccine Hub between February 3rd and June 4th.
The hub closed in June due to increasingly low demand – they peaked at about 2,000 vaccinations a day, but by June the Hub was seeing less than 150 a day. From that point, the Hub’s vaccines were distributed to private healthcare providers, including urgent care facilities, pharmacies, and hospitals.
“The supply of COVID-19 vaccines remains ample to any Ellis County resident who wants one,’ Little concludes. According to the latest data 50.93% of the residents in Ellis County are fully vaccinated and 60.85% over 12 years old have had at least one dose.
*The Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Center in Ferris will be open through November 15th from 10am – 4pm. 514 Mable, Ferris, TX Those interested in receiving the antibody therapy treatment can register for an appointment at mdlabtx.com
Get answers to questions or help finding a vaccine near you by phone:
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Call 1-833-832-7067 (toll free) for referral to a local vaccine provider
Call center is open Monday–Friday 8:00am–6:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am–5:00pm.
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Get fully vaccinated for free and without ID, insurance, or an appointment. Go to CovidVaccine.Texas.gov to find vaccine providers near you.