Unfortunately, this afternoon at 2:46 PM, Houston experienced its first COVID-19 death of a man in his 80’s who was living in a nursing home before being hospitalized. On Sunday, March 15, a man in his 90’s died in Matagorda County, the first local area COVID-19 fatality.
Our Ft. Bend County has 19 cases. Nine are in their 60’s or 70’s. One of these elderly afflicted citizens is undergoing hospitalization and is in stable condition. Another was released from hospitalization. Six were involved in one Egyptian Cruise. The remaining ten are all experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, including one child, one adult in her 20s, two in their 30’s, four in their 40s and, a two in their ’50s.
Earlier today, Gov. Greg Abbot issued a sweeping statewide order—limiting gatherings of 10 people, or more and closing sit down bars and restaurant starting Friday at midnight. Takeout is still allowed. He also ordered to end all visitations to nursing homes.
Free testing is available from United Memorial Medical Center at four locations, for the highest risk individuals, and is currently undergoing 2000 tests per day. There are several alternatives, for pay, but keep in mind most use tests not within the current Center for Disease Control guidelines for testing for SAR-COV-2. AFC Urgent Care is working on a CDC compliant testing protocol with telemedicine options to ensure the safety of our staff and patients to be release in the next few weeks.
AFC Urgent Care is actively preparing for Novel Corona Virus, or COVID-19, in our communities. We have developed processes for accepting and isolating COVID-19 patients to keep our staff and patients safe [ii]. In the meantime, please see our blog for basic facts and practical steps to take.
1) DEFENSE: Our best defense against COVID- 19 is the same defense against the common flu, clean your hands, stay away from people with cold symptoms, and don’t touch your face, especially your nose, mouth, and eyes.
2) PROPER HAND CLEANING: The best method to clean your hands is with soap and water, accompanied by vigorous scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative [ii].
3) HOUSTON AREA: Currently, Houston area residents have a low risk of COV-19 infection. No one has tested positive for the virus in Texas outside of the 10 individuals who were evacuees from Hubei Province and the Diamond Princess cruise, in Lackland Airforce Base, in San Antonio[ii]. However, as there are have been several cases of community spread COV-19 in other states with two fatalities[iii], without any direct connection to a known source of the disease, we need to vigilant to a real potential threat.
4) FACE MASKS: Face masks are not recommended as a preventative measure. Exceptions are sick patients or health care providers administering to patients. The chances of getting infected are higher for mask wearers because of the human tendency to adjust the masks and inadvertently touch the faces with contaminated hands.
5) MOST CASES are MODERATE: The vast majority of cases (81%) were mild or with no symptoms. Unlike Influenza, Children and young people are much less affected[iv]. As of February 11, out of 1023 reported deaths in China, only one was less than 20 years old.[v] Healthy patients without Co-Morbidity Factors have markedly less severe outcomes[vii].
6) CRITICAL CASES: While most cases are mild, 4.7% of those infected end up in an acute state experiencing respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure. Of those who are infected, around half have died with an estimated fatality rate of about 2%. This is more than 20x the fatality rate of Influenza[vii].
7) FACTORS FOR CRITICAL CASES. The death rate for those 60 and higher is 3x higher. The death rate for people with Co-Morbidity Factor including high blood pressure, Diabetes, Heart conditions, respiratory conditions, or cancer is 4.2x higher[vii]. Because of this, it is essential that our elderly, especially those with the high Co-Morbidity factors mentioned, be especially cautious.
As long-time residents of the Richmond and Sugar Land area, Sol and Adriano have been active members of the community. They have been owners of AFC Urgent Care Richmond for the past several years. Sol is the operations manager for the clinic and has Medical Degree from the University of Caraboboa and was a resident Ophthalmological Surgeon in her native country, Venezuela. Adriano is the center’s general manager, leveraging several decades of technical, commercial and marketing experience in Oil & Gas. They participate in and sponsor local non-profit organizations such as Boy Scouts of America and Shape Up Fort Bend.