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‘It’s in our hands’: Weekly check-in with UMC’s Dr. Jose Burgos

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, July 16:

Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?

Dr. Jose Burgos (UMC’s Director of Internal Medicine): "It's probably been the busiest week that've had. We were able to manage the volume. We are really confident that we can continue to do so this week as well."

Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?

Burgos: "Our hospital can handle the current volume and we have enough plans that will help us contain another surge of patients. We're constantly reviewing and looking at different ways to adapt the capacity of the hospital."

Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?

Burgos: "The highest rate of transmission is when it's person-to-person. If we are wearing a mask, we are protecting other people and also protecting ourselves from other people. It works both ways. That's why we must continue to do that."

Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?

Burgos: "The most eye-opening thing is the number of patients. It's not news to everybody in the city how we are diagnosing so many people day by day. Of course, we're seeing a lot more patients in the hospitals. But that comes with the volume. Remember, that for every 100 people that might get infected, about 10-20 percent of them will at some point end up receiving hospital care."

Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?

Burgos: "We're probably hitting our peak at this point. Hopefully, that's what it is, and now we should see the numbers coming down."

Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?

Burgos: "We have availability to treat the people aggressively in the hospital. We have the capacity to administer the anti-viral. It's something that we were a little bit worried about. But, we have stock of the medication."

Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?

Burgos: "It's up to us. It's definitely up to each and everyone of us to control the spread of this condition. It's in our hands, literally."

Statistics for July 16:

  • 10,638 total cases, 3,708 active cases, 173 deaths in El Paso County

Here's a list of earlier segments:

  • April 9 Q&A: (225 cases , 1 death)
  • April 16 Q&A: (451 cases, 7 deaths)
  • 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)
  • June 4 Q&A: (3,069 total cases, 1,059 active cases, 89 deaths)
  • June 11 Q&A: (3,650 total cases, 1,015 active cases, 97 deaths)
  • June 18 Q&A: (4,088 total cases, 946 active cases, 119 deaths)
  • June 25 Q&A: (4,984 total cases, 1394 active cases, 125 deaths)
  • July 2 Q&A: (6,389 total cases, 2,223 active cases, 132 deaths)
  • July 9 Q&A: (8,385 total cases, 3,085 active cases, 145 deaths)
Coronavirus Video / El Paso / Health / Video

Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas co-anchors ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.


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