EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- In an effort to deliver the most comprehensive coronavirus coverage, ABC-7 has started a weekly feature where we ask Dr. Jose Burgos, the director of internal medicine at University Medical Center, the same seven questions each week to track how the pandemic is changing.
Here's the Q&A for Thursday, June 4:
Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?
Dr. Jose Burgos (Internal Medicine Director, UMC): "The only difference this week compared to what I have been seeing in the past few weeks is that now we are having more critical patients. We have sicker patients coming in, which is new. Our proportion is usually that we have maybe like 80%, 70% in a regular hospital bed, and then 20-30% in the ICU. Now are number in the ICU is higher."
Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?
Burgos: "Definitely, we can handle the number of patients. We have enough beds, staff, and personal protective equipment to take care of the patients."
Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?
Burgos: "I'm not telling you not to do things, just be mindful of what's going on. The virus has not disappeared. The virus is there. The virus is among everybody who is outside. Protect yourself and just be conscious about it."
Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?
Burgos: "It's the fact that even though we have been expecting much higher peaks in patients, the numbers have been steady which is good. It means that somehow we are doing the right things."
Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?
Burgos: "With the protest, people out there not really taking care of themselves, we might be seeing more cases. But again, it's up to how we deal with this as individuals."
Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?
Burgos: "We are crowded, but we are still at capacity to take care of our patients. Our numbers have been steady over the past few weeks. We were probably busier in the hospital in early May. Over the past month, our numbers have been steady so that gives me hope that we can potentially continue to see these numbers or lower."
Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?
Burgos: "I think that as a community we're doing well, but we have to continue to do it. Do not think that the virus is going away."
Statistics for June 4:
- 3,069 total cases, 1,059 active cases, 89 deaths in El Paso County
Here's a list of earlier segments:
- April 9 Q&A: (225 cases , 1 death in El Paso County)
- April 16 Q&A: (451 cases, 7 deaths in El Paso County)
- April 23 Q&A: (675 total cases, 543 active cases, 10 deaths)
- April 30 Q&A: (924 total cases, 506 active cases, 21 deaths)
- May 7 Q&A: (1,190 total cases, 541 active cases, 30 deaths)
- May 14 Q&A: (1,607 total cases, 771 active cases, 43 deaths)
- May 21 Q&A: (2,046 total cases, 883 active cases, 57 deaths)
- May 28 Q&A: (2,569 total cases, 1,032 active cases, 72 deaths)