City Emergency Management Coordinator John Sheedy presented an update on the activities at the city’s emergency operations center to city council members Tuesday.
Sheedy first compared the numbers arising from the COVID-19 crises to those presented at the council’s last meeting on July 14.
“We can see the tests that were submitted. We went from 5,995 to 8,087, so we had an increase of a little over 2,000 tests. That was a 34 percent increase on our tests. We look at our pending, and we had 508 results pending on July 14, and we’ve gone down to 462, so that’s a decrease, and that’s what we want to see, because that means we have less cases out, so we’re doing really good there,” Sheedy said.
Sheedy next looked at the numbers of positive local test results.
“It’s not good. On July 14, we stood at 729 cases. Currently, today, we are at 1,344, so that’s over 600 cases more, and it’s about an 85 percent increase on our positives. On our recovered, we had 141 on July 14, and we’re now up to 593, and I think this is the one that’s really phenomenal.
“They’ve been working really hard. I know the county contact tracers and the local health authority, and I know we were kind of slow getting started here, just because there were so many cases coming in, and it was taking them time to get their game lined up, but they’re certainly getting more efficient, and we’re starting to click through those really good, so that shows about a 320 percent increase, and that’s really phenomenal, so kudos to those folks that have been accomplishing that,” Sheedy said.
He next examined the numbers of active cases.
“We had 588 (on July 14), and we’re now at 751, and while it’s an increase because we’ve had a lot of cases, that’s only a 27 percent increase. . . Our negatives, we increased about 1,480, so about a 31 percent increase, which is kind of what we expected, from 4,741 on July 14 to 6,223 now,” he said.
The number of deaths, Sheedy said, “is the number we’ve all been dreading.”
“On the 14th, we were still sitting at six deaths. There’s some debate, I know, and we’re trying to, with all respect, and we don’t want to get ahead of anybody, so we’re still reporting what’s been definitively confirmed. It is 22, although I believe the number is 41 or 43.
“Of course, 22 is over a 250 percent increase (over July 14), and if we’re looking at 41, that’s a lot, and we have to remember this is in a fairly short period of time. So, it’s just very alarming. There’s no way around it,” Sheedy said.
He presented several graphs that depicted different overviews of the numbers, including one that showed the progression of positive COVID-19 cases as the disease moved, and continues to move, through Del Rio’s population. He noted that most of the city’s COVID-19 cases have occurred in the past 30 days.
Sheedy said city and county officials have spoken about the desire to gather and publicize more demographical data about the COVID-19 cases.
“We’re going to try and collect the data and present the date from a more unified position, and of course, we’ll share that with everyone,” he said.
Among the data Sheedy said he would like to see collected are ages, gender and possibly the ages of those who have died.
“There’s a lot of data we are working on getting, and we hope to have more graphs like this,” Sheedy said.
Sheedy said he also welcomes suggestions from the community about the data and how to present it in the most meaningful ways.
Sheedy said he also wanted to discuss the temporary mortuary situation with the council members.
“Everybody is kind of looking at Val Verde County and Del Rio, because we really got in front of this, and other people are just now trying to put these pieces together. Of course, we’re very hopeful that we’re not going to ever need it, and that would be ideal.
“But we do have some capacity now. I know the hospital feels much more comfortable now, because they had already kind of pushed it to the limit and hopefully with the sergeant that’s going to be able to work through these protocols and procedures with this, because there are a lot of things that go into that kind of a responsibility,” he said.